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Arts and Entertainment

The Shins @ The Greek Theatre, 10/7/07

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Still on tour in support of Wincing the Night Away, their third and most recent release from January of this year, The Shins hit up the Greek Theatre on Sunday to a packed house. Up until a few days prior I really only knew the Portland, OR based band from their two songs on the Garden State soundtrack, Caring is Creepy and New Slang. But I packed in some pre-show listens to the newest album as well as Oh, Inverted World (their debut album) and Chutes Too Narrow (release #2), so by the time I got to the concert I had gotten the gist of their solid, if not a little late-nineties-alt-rock, indie sound.

The show opened with The Shaky Hands, who I heard from the balcony. The Shins took the stage to a backdrop of light projections on a purple screen, and frontman James Mercer’s distinctive voice carried them from beginning to end. They were relaxed and laid back, but their energy bordered on mediocre and their stage presence, unless they were going for irony, was pretty lackluster.

Looking around, I wondered if maybe I wasn't the only one who knew them only from Garden State. For the most part people were glued to their seats, doing some bopping around in their chairs but seemingly more interested in hanging out with the music as background than rocking out on their feet. That said, The Shins' melodies are beautiful, and from New Slang to single Phantom Limb they brought their quirky, soulful vibe to full fruition.

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The sound at the Greek, as usual, was great (especially after sitting through the shittiest sound in recent memory at the Arcade Fire's September 20th Hollywood Bowl show).

I spent most of the concert enjoying the music but only half engaged, until they walked offstage, came back for an encore, and blew the nonexistent roof off the place with Pink Floyd's Breathe. For the first time all night the feeling coming from the stage was powerful enough that I had to stand up.

The rest of their tour will take them through France, the UK, and Japan, rounding out a full year on the road.

Photos by clickbang