While most of you were nursing barbecue-filled tummies on Memorial Day evening, Broken Bells sold-out Chicago’s Vic Theatre. This highly anticipated show proved to be as cool as its players…tasteful, arty, and just flat out good.
In case you haven’t heard, Broken Bells is James Mercer’s (of The Shins fame) and production virtuoso Brian Burton’s (aka Danger Mouse) new project. Two very different artists that together have created a very original and appealing sound.
Monday night’s performance brought the studio production to the stage and to life. With dreamy abstract projections backdropping Burton and Mercer, along with a five-piece band, the live performance strongly reflected the unique appeal of their critically praised self-titled album, a combination of Burton’s powerful beats with Mercer’s swooning melodies. Highlights included “Ghost Inside”, which the crowd eagerly clapped and sang along to, and the radio friendly single “High Road”, a catchy ditty about taking it to the next (moral) level.
The set was short, running a little over an hour, and covered the complete album with two additional surprise covers, “Crimson and Clover” and “Hold On Me”. Hopefully, they have more in store, because the show felt like the beginning – fingers crossed – of a continuing collaboration from two very cool musicians.
Broken Bells setlist:
Your Head Is On Fire
The Ghost Inside
Sailing to Nowhere
Crimson and Clover (Cover)
The High Road
Hold On Me (cover)
The Mall and Misery