Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:47 pm
Aside from U2, Bell X1 is the Irish band with the most airplay in their native country. They got together as schoolboys in County Kildare, calling themselves Juniper. Back then, the lead singer was Damien Rice. He left soon after, with Paul Noonan taking over as lead. They changed their name to that of the aircraft that first broke the sound barrier (flown by West Virginia native Chuck Yeager). In fact, the first time Bell X1 visited Mountain Stage, members of the band asked - only half jokingly - if there was a possibility that Yeager would be in the audience.
Bell X1 has a hybrid sound informed by several styles of rock and pop music, including Talking Heads and The Flaming Lips. They've been compared to Coldplay and Radiohead, yet they definitely retain a certain "Irishness" about them. They recorded their first album in 2000, and their latest, Chop Chop in 2013.
This set is taken from their 2011 appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University.