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The Shins

The Shins: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2007)
Sub Pop Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: red_eye_incred_eye_inc
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When will bands learn to tour the south in the winter and everywhere else in the spring? Four lines of barricades forced hundreds to wait in sub-zero temperatures last Friday night, hours after the Congress Theater's doors were supposed to be open. I felt bad for Viva Voce, the lone opening band,.


When will bands learn to tour the south in the winter and everywhere else in the spring? Four lines of barricades forced hundreds to wait in sub-zero temperatures last Friday night, hours after the Congress Theater's doors were supposed to be open.

I felt bad for Viva Voce, the lone opening band, as by the time I made it inside the line outside had only grown longer and the band's set was nearly over. Only half of the venue's sizeable floor was full and it was mostly the club's fault for understaffing or dragging ass or whatever caused the outdoor delay. There were only two people in the band, a man playing drums and a woman playing guitar (both singing), but a mystery bass was coming through the speakers. Prerecorded instruments at a live show, especially one of this size, irk me. I later found out they were married so it was like non gut-wrenching Mates of State. They sounded like a poor man's Pixies.

A short set change later, the Shins started. All five of them exuded confidence and, from the first keyboard strokes of opener "Sleeping Lessons," looked like they were having fun. Full distortion on, they blasted through their songs with an energy that they've never captured in a studio. Martin Crandell and Dave Hernandez switched effortlessly between keyboards, guitar and bass while new recruit Eric Johnson rotated a lap steel, a keyboard and an acoustic guitar. Even with all of the switching and the occasional appearance by the female half of Viva Voce the set was fluid and they played every song tight and loud. Slower songs from Oh, Inverted World were sped up and rearranged to match the live energy of the new material. Comments from the band were sparse and reserved for a few "thanks for coming out"s, but once each song began the shyness faded and they went from lurching and swaying to leaping and slamming. James Mercer's yelp sounded strong and added more weight to the dense and expertly executed arrangements. Guitarist/bassist Dave Hernandez was by far the most animated, his days in Scared of Chaka shining through as he stomped and head-banged throughout. A common complaint about this band is that they're boring on record, but I challenge anyone to say the same of their live performance. When they wrapped up their encore with a bouncy "So Says I," it felt like the hour-plus set had just begun. If anyone has the means to see them on this tour, I would highly recommend it.

Set list included, but was not limited to:

  • Sleeping Lessons
  • Australia
  • Pam Berry
  • Phantom Limb
  • Turn on Me
  • A Come Appears
  • New Slang (a faster, acoustic-free version)
  • One by One All Day
  • Kissing the Lipless
  • Caring Is Creepy
  • Gone for Good
  • Turn a Square
  • Saint Simon
  • So Says I

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
allyeah (February 20, 2007)

James Mercer is on three of the songs in the new modest mouse album. That's good stuff, I don't care what anyone says.

Anonymous (February 19, 2007)

It's one of the worst albums of all time.

nocigar (February 19, 2007)

The new Modest Mouse album is fucking terrible.

its not terrible.

Anonymous (February 18, 2007)

The new Modest Mouse album is fucking terrible.

BTown (February 18, 2007)

I like this band somewhat, but they are selling tickets in my area for close to $40. Fuck that!

Anonymous (February 17, 2007)

"wow yea. i cant think of many bands the shins sound less like than the pixies. melodic, almost diminutive and never jarring"

You reading comprehension sucks. he was talking about the first band.

Anonymous (February 17, 2007)

wow yea. i cant think of many bands the shins sound less like than the pixies. melodic, almost diminutive and never jarring.

Archangel (February 17, 2007)

"What the hell is a "poor man's Pixies"? That is the worst description ever."

A band that apes the Pixies' sound without being nearly as good as them -- what the fuck is confusing about that? I'm sorry that you don't know anything about music.

clamum (February 17, 2007)

The Shins rule. I could listen to Phantom Limb 24/7.

Anonymous (February 17, 2007)

What the hell is a "poor man's Pixies"? That is the worst description ever.

kjb83 (February 16, 2007)

Ah, I see. Thanks for the info. That makes a lot more sense. I just saw Madison Square Garden and was surprised. Anyway, tickets should be a lot cheaper than I expected at least.

Anonymous (February 16, 2007)

They're playing the Theater At Madison Square Garden, not Madison Square Garden. The theater can hold between 2000 and 5000 people, which for a New York City show isn't that big.

kjb83 (February 16, 2007)

Wow, I didn't realize they were #2. That's crazy. But I still feel like they're not THAT popular. I mean Justin Timberlake is almost a household name. I don't know many people who listen to the Shins, no less have even heard of their existence besides people who love Garden State. Maybe I'm just out of touch with today's popular music.

Anonymous (February 16, 2007)

their album debuted at #2 on the billboard charts. thats like justin timberlake big. thats why they play big venues. they arent just really popular right now, they are fucking huge.

kjb83 (February 16, 2007)

Does anyone else find it weird that they're playing such big venues? I mean Madison Square Garden?? I knew they were fairly popular now, but that big?

As long as tickets are ridiculously overpriced, I'm going.

red_eye_inc (February 16, 2007)

I meant that to mean that the set flew by because I was having so much fun.

Anonymous (February 16, 2007)

Dude... saying a band isn't boring then saying it feels like their set just begins with a song in the encore doesn't really seem to add up that well.

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