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Broken Bells: A musically and visually stunning show

Broken Bells live

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Broken Bells brought their road show to the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, AZ, April 13, 2014 to the delight of a packed house. Broken Bells is an electronica pop band formed by members of other bands. They made it to Tucson via the Coachella Music Festival last Friday. Coachella does not allow their contracted bands to play in Southern California during the week between their two-weekend extravaganzas. As a result, the bands travel to AZ during their down time.

James Mercer and Brian Burton create a musical extravaganza. Brian Burton pictured.
©Mary F. Andrews

Broken Bells consists of artist-producer Brian Burton (commonly known as Danger Mouse) and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band, The Shins. Burton has worked with The Black Keys, U2 and Beck to name a few. He’s on Esquire’s magazine’s list as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century that makes him one of the five most important figures in music. In this group, Danger Mouse juggles many instruments to put the finishing touches to Mercer’s impeccable vocals.

James Mercer is known as the wonderful singer, writer and one-man driving force behind The Shins. He is known to have this beautiful falsetto and an ability to craft the perfect hit song. He does Barry Gibb better than Barry Gibb. “Holding On For Life” is testimony to that. Their tour is presently promoting their sophomore album, “After The Disco.” For more information on the duo, click here.

The show began in total darkness that faded in a sphere on the screen in the rear of the stage. In the center of the sphere was the first few rows of fans in real time. This began the excitement of the house that continued for the duration of the show. The lighting throughout the show was impeccable and done with great precision. Neither Burton nor Mercer was a high energy performer, but it doesn’t matter. The music was superlative and the light show was mesmerizing. This is continued throughout the show.

They were joined by Au Revoir Simone to sing background for three songs toward the end of the show. Their voices blended as if it was predestined by a higher being. Fact is that the whole show had a mystical quality and was enjoyed by all. For a complete set list, click here.