Last Friday night, Broken Bells unexpectedly took to the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, CA to carry out its first ever live performance. According to LAist’s Andy Sternberg, the few hundred folks who were lucky enough to be in attendance were greeted to trippy visuals and a “well-rehearsed” six-piece band (two guitars, two keyboards, bass, drums), which of course was led by the project’s figureheads, The Shins’ James Mercer on guitar and vocals and super producer Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, holding down the drums.
The performance that followed was reportedly quite good. “Ad four- and five-part harmonies and some ace songwriting by Mercer and the live experience had a wall of sound, Floydian feel, melodies grinding through spiral video projected on the stage,” Sternberg wrote, going to note that “after each song everybody seemed to turn and look at each other with eyebrows raised as if to say, ‘wow, that actually sounded really good.’” In all, Broken Bells performed the 10 tracks from their forthcoming self-titled debut, as well as — and this will get you super jealous — covers of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” and Tommy James and the Shondell’s “Crimson and Clover”. Yeah, seriously.
Incredibly enough, an unbelievably awesome YouTube user by the name Foundtrack recorded and upload a quality recording of the entire performance. Check the videos out here; watch selected highlights, including “The High Road” “Vaporize”, and “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”, below! This stuff is unreal.
As it stands now, Broken Bells have three more live appearances on their upcoming itinerary — two in Europe and one at South by Southwest, opening for Spoon!!!, next month. Broken Bells, the album, is due out on March 2nd via Sony.
Broken Bells 2010 Tour Dates:
03/01 – Paris, FR @ Nouveau Casino
03/03 – London, UK @ ICA
03/17 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs (SXSW) *
* = w/ Spoon, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, & The Walkmen