Not only did The Shins
open with Sleeping Lessons
, but they proceeded to play straight through all four of the opening tracks from Wincing the Night Away
: the aforementioned, Australia
, Pam Berry
, Phantom Limb
. I enjoy that run on the album, but I got the feeling live that they were just going through the motions. Two of the guys thought it was totally awesome and James Mercer just said “those, uh, were the first four songs off our new album” with an obvious smirk. More on this below.
I did see one dude trying to pick a fight, but there was no moshing. The crowd wasn't all that drunk, but they probably would have been if more of them had fake IDs.
So, I have one more prediction: James Mercer will not make it through this tour. Don't get me wrong, I love the man, and he pretty much is
The Shins to me, but this situation is not sustainable. The two guys on the left of the stage switching between bass, guitar, and keys tried stealing the show and the hearts of all the girls a decade or two younger than themselves. They were always talking over Mercer, their instruments were way too loud in the mix, and their tones... my God, were they awful.
The thing is, I think Mercer is already painfully aware of this. When they were playing Pressed in a Book
, he finally started channeling some of his emotion, and he actually turned slightly to his right twice as he growled "You don't always want what's right." They closed with So Says I
and Mercer put everything he had in to it. He left the crowd wanting more, myself included, but then I realized just how perfectly acerbic his delivery was and caught a glimpse of the infamous artistic justice.
As far as I'm concerned, those two wankers on the left of the stage can take the band name, all these huge shows, and the fame and run with them so as long as they run far, far away from Mercer as he moves on with the drummer and maybe the other keyboard / Telecaster guy as a solo tour.
For those of you who didn't see it, this is a follow-up to my Shins Concert Predictions
.Fri 9 Feb – The Shins, Viva Voce