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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsBroken Bells brought their road show to the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, AZ a couple of days ago to the delight of a packed house. 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.
Broken Bells is an electronica pop band formed by members of other iconic bands which consists of artist-producer Brian Burton (commonly known as Danger Mouse and former member of Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green) 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 juggled 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 has 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.
The show began in total darkness that faded into a sphere on the screen in the rear of the stage. In the center of the sphere is the first few rows of fans in real time. Thus 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 were energetic performers, but it did't matter as the music was superlative and the light show was mesmerizing.
They were joined by Au Revoir Simone to sing background vocals 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 and mysterious quality throughout the entire performance.
Au Revoir Simone kicked off the sold out show with a sparsely lit stage that set the mood superbly as the room filled with fans who were ready to dance. They started the 35-minute set with "More Than" from their newest release. It was an excellent electronica intro for the set. From there the dance beat did not stop and neither did the crowd stop dancing. The lyrics to their music were a lot darker than the music. The best song of their set was "Crazy."
1. Perfect World
2. The Ghost Inside
3. After the Disco
4. Mongrel Heart
5. The Mall & Misery
6. The Angel and the Fool 7. Holding On for Life
10. Meyrin Fields
11. Sailing to Nowhere
13. The Changing Lights
14. Leave It Alone
15. The High Road
17. Trap Doors
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