Eliot Morris
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Brendan Benson

Abbey Pub, Chicago, IL

April 8, 2005


On tour promoting his new CD, Alternative to Love, Brendan Benson made a long awaited appearance in Chicago.  After dropping his backing band, the Wellfed Boys, many in the audience didn’t know what to expect from his new band mates; they didn’t disappoint.  Playing to a packed room, they took the stage around midnight and played non-stop for 65 minutes.  While that may not seem like a long set, Benson somehow managed to squeeze 14 songs into that short amount of time!


Brendan Benson

Benson began with ‘Between Us,’ a high energy tune from the new release.  From there, he dipped back into the previous CDs, with crowd favorites ‘Good to Me’ and ‘Folk Singer’ getting some attention.  The title track ‘Alternative to Love’ appeared midway through the set.  With fans singing along throughout the song, Benson proclaimed the desire to find something that feels as good as love. The set ended with the new single, ‘Spit It Out’ followed by ‘You’re Quiet,’ which the crowd loved.  After a short departure from the stage, Benson returned for an encore that included ‘Life in the D,’ which had been requested by the fans, and ‘Tiny Spark,’ my personal highlight of the show.


Brendan Benson



As good as the show was sonically, the crowd left something to be desired.  Yes, they sang along with every one of Brendan’s songs, even the new ones, but many talked through both of the opening acts, making it nearly impossible to enjoy the sets.  In addition, there were a couple of guys who managed to cut through the audience at the beginning of Benson’s set and work their way to the stage.  As if that weren’t rude enough to the people who had gotten to the show early to be in front, they then proceeded to stand directly in front of two women who were about seven inches shorter than them.  Here’s a tip:  If you’re going to be rude and weasel your way to the front, the least you can do is be respectful of those around you.  Standing in front of short people just solidifies the fact that you’re an ass.



To find out more information about Brendan Benson, visit his website an