The Shins: Port of Morrow.

Love love love the new Shins album.  I was a little concerned since it has been five years since their last studio album and as the line-up is an ever-revolving door, but the music stays true while continuing to evolve.  They played an amazing show which was much tighter and better-ended than when I saw them on tour for Wincing the Night Away.  At the previous show, they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a piss-poor encore performance where they flubbed a song, double-played one from earlier in their set, and did a lame-o cover.  Not so this time, friends.  Time has been spent honing their show into a nearly seamless spectacle; solid from start to finish with a well-executed finale.  But still, they did not play Turn on Me, nor did I hear A Comet Appears.  I suppose this is because the show hewed more toward a rocking sound than slow-jam.

Opening act Chairlift was pretty okay if you’re into retro eighties synthpop sounds.  I swear there was one sound their keyboardist got that was straight from a video game I used to play on Sega Genesis.  Have yet to place it.  In fact, their opening song was their weakest and sounded like a reject from the Space Harrier II soundtrack.  It did go up from there, but I still didn’t like them as much as I wanted to.  Their sound mix was excellent.

P.S. What is with all the nautical/aquatic references and themes, James Mercer?  Is it in reaction to relocating to land-locked New Mexico after being born in Hawaii?

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