The Live Act: Broken Bells

Concerts are the best. The absolute, without a doubt, best. And after you’ve been to a variety of shows, festivals, bars, lounges, and arenas, you begin to appreciate the performances that truly stand out. The ones that make your jaw drop or your skin tingle—the ones that make you shut your eyes tight and fall into the epic immediacy of live sound.


Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am in love with James Mercer. He is calm and brilliant, understated and gifted — arguably the most influential singer songwriter to serenade my mid-20’s. Broken Bells, his side project (The Shins is his main band), is a collaboration of Mercer’s musical talents and mastermind Dangermouse, legendary producer of Gnarls Barkley, among others.

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The Shins in Tempest

They walked on stage like art-gallery attendees, little skinny jeans and old button up shirts, curious and quiet. There were six in total, the new lineup after a three-year hiatus, all of whom brought their own little flare to the old Shins songs, and a whole lot of dopeness to the new ones.

Right from the start they were on. James Mercer, my idol and manly soul mate (little does he know), picked up that faded-white Les Paul Jr. and that hushed persona vanished.

“Called to see, if your back was still aligned, and your sheets were growing grass all on the corners of your bed.”

The Shins Live
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