Thoughts From Last Night...


Broken Bells :: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall :: 08.11.14

The first time I ever went to a planetarium was when my friend took me to see a U2 Laser Light show at OMSI. It was alright. But on Monday night, Broken Bells turned the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall into their own personal planetarium, and no offense to Bono or anything, but they blew my prior U2 experience out of the water.

Opening act Cayucas' brand of breathy, SoCal surf-rock was well received by the crowd, but their reception was nothing compared to the welcome Portland had in store of James Mercer and Brian Burton - and with good reason: every second of Broken Bells set was both visually and aurally arresting. Pretty much every surface in their stage setup glistens with mirrors, flashing lights and lasers, and a massive, dome-shaped projector at the band's feet projected fisheye views of the screaming crowd and colorful visualizations of swirling nebulae and starscapes onscreen behind the band. Performance-wise, James Mercer never strays from behind his mic, but he doesn't have to - he manages to hold your attention all the same, playing through songs like "The Ghost Inside" and "Holding On for Life" with an intensity that I've only seen rivaled by Foster The People's Mark Foster. 

Towards the end of the show, Mercer paused briefly to talk about how glad he was to be back home in Portland. We're glad too, James. We're glad too.


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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : Portland
People : Brian BurtonJames MercerMark Foster

08/13/2014 11:43AM
Broken Bells :: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall :: 08.11.14
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