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?