Posted On 03 Nov 2014
On Saturday, October 25th, the indie rock band, Broken Bells performed at the downtown Los Angeles venue, Orpheum Theatre to a packed crowd. The audience was projected onto the back of the stage until Broken Bells finally appeared exactly at 10:01 pm.
For those that don’t already know, Broken Bells is artist-producer Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band, The Shins. While Broken Bells compose and create as a duo, they are joined by Dan Elkan and Jon Sortland whenever they perform live.
It was an incredibly visual show full of stage lights and spotlights. Projections on the back of the stage of space-like imagery followed by artsy pictures and then recycled album artwork certainly created a space yet tranquil atmosphere. Purples, reds and blues filled the room throughout Broken Bells’ set.
Mercer’s voice soared the whole night for each song. He looked so comfortable on stage and at one point, he even asked the crowd if they wanted to dance and of course we all obliged and got to our feet! By the third song, “After The Disco”, everyone was on their feet dancing and really letting loose. While Mercer captivated us all, I was also equally impressed with Danger Mouse. he continuously switched from keys to bass guitar throughout the night and in fact, no one except Mercer stayed on the same instrument for more than a few tracks.
Before they began playing, “The Angel and the Fool”, a small chorus of backup singers joined Broken Bells on stage, who I was later told, were featured in last years music documentary-film, 20 Feet From Stardom.
After ending their set with “The High Road,” they took a very short break before a three-song encore. Mercer and Mouse entered the stage alone and began playing “Citizen” with just keyboards and acoustic guitar until finally the rest of the band joined in the fun.
Just before ending the show with “Holding On For Life”, I really enjoyed hearing Mercer tell the crowd that it was always a pleasure playing in LA. 🙂