This past Wednesday night I was lucky enough to see The Shins at Sydney, Australia’s Hordern Pavilion. The Zach Braff-approved band gave it their all as they played hit after hit and covering their four-album discography, relying most heavily, of course, on their latest effort, Port Of Marrow.
Opening with one of my personal favorites, “Kissing The Lipless” off their sophomore album, Chutes Too Narrow, the band kicked off to a great start, as that song has such great dynamics: it starts off quiet and beautiful, while reaching a crescendo that has lead singer/guitarist James Mercer doing some rare shouts. Next up was the ever-famous “Caring Is Creepy” that had the crowd singing along, followed by album highlight “Simple Song” – the first single off their most recent effort, Port Of Marrow.
After that fabulous one-two-three punch, other highlights included “So Says I”, “Phantom Limb”, and obviously, “Australia” - it’s always exciting to hear a song live about the place where you’re currently residing. Anyways, the band put on a super tight and solid performance. Their newest single, “It’s Only Life”, was great as well, as it had guitarist Jessica Dobson harmonizing with Mercer – something you don’t get enough of from these guys.
The interesting thing about The Shins is that they really don’t take any risks with their music – time in and time out, all four of their albums have such a similar sound. It’s a great sound – but it’s always so exciting when a band takes risks. I guess they know that their formula works, so they stick with it.
Sadly, I left early and missed “New Slang”, but on the bright side, I then headed over to the Oxford Art Factory to check out Brooklyn’s very own Friends in downtown Sydney.