Concert #2 of Spring/Summer: Broken Bells. Venue: Wonder Ballroom.
I admit that going into the concert I did not know many of the songs and was nervous for my inability to sing-a-long. They are a group that sings so smoothly you can’t quite make out what they are saying, unless you are a cool kid that learns the lyrics (aka NOT ME). My fears drifted away when the 7, yes SEVEN, regular dudes came on the stage, beers in hand.
Of course their this-guy-could-totally-be-my-friend vibe is just that. Not only do their musical abilities range from guitars and keyboards, to tambourines and trumpets, their lead singer is James Mercer–lead singer of The Shins & Portland Native–and drummer/keyboardist/guitarist is Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse. Sometimes it seemed even the band was in awe of these two.
Mercer pleasantly greeted the crowd with a “Hello Portland, Hello Home” which kicked the night off right. An intimate venue, with easy to find free parking, complimented the feel of this lead singers homecoming well. Being only a short distance from the stage, there was a point when I thought Mercer was looking right. at. me. . . only to realize later that he was searching for his toddler daughter who was standing behind me in her oversized protective headphones and fairy wings, FAIRY WINGS!
The group played a solid hour, which may be too short for many, but was the perfect length for me on a Monday night. Their light graphics were basic and almost unnecessary to back up their great sound.Their music was not too loud, not too soft, it was juuuust right. I didn’t leave with ringing ears, but instead left with the tune of The High Road stuck in my head.
They were an impressive flannel-clad bunch, which is no wonder they sold their show out in a week. I highly recommend seeing these guys the next time they are in town, and in the least checking out some of their songs.