The Shins @ The Moore 04.06.12

April 6, 2012

12:30 in the afternoon is a weird time to see a band. Be it your friends in their garage, or The Shins at The Moore. Despite this, walking in just before the band came on, the floor was packed to the brim for what was apparently some sort of Starbucks event. We quickly moved up the stairs to the fir st balcony.  The first show I'd seen with the bands new line up, it's quite clear that James is aiming for a tightly run show. Each track is flawless, as it feels like they fly through a career spanning set, that while heavy on songs from their latest release, Port Of Morrow, still touches on many old favorites (Caring is Creepy and set closer, Sleeping Lessons come to mind).  It's still strange to sit there and remember that you just walked over from work, fresh with a sandwich in your belly, but the matinee performance almost gives the whole show a Musical Theater vibe (the giant Port of Morrow backdrop, killer lighting design and the bands relatively little stage banter only embellish this). Clearly serving as a warm up of sorts for their massive tour coming up (including a sold out, presumably mainstage slot at Sasquatch), it's clear they're ready to take on those bigger shows at this point. James is fighting to prove the bands Headliner status, and right now he's doing quite the job. Surrounding himself with musicians who can properly channel his tracks precisely according to his vision, and now packing a catalog with just the right number of hits (Phantom Limb and New Slang also poked out their heads), and a latest record that stands strong amongst other releases, they're becoming a household name and a don't-miss at that.  There are few live frills here, no jam based breakdowns, no light up pyramid LED gimmicks, but songs like track 1 off their latest, Rifles Spiral prove that they need to do little than justice to the album versions to make the crowd go bananas. Plus when he does speak, James seems incredibly personable, humble, and of course charming. The kind of guy who writes a song to which people say "this song will change your life".  Will The Shins live change your life? Maybe, maybe not. But we can almost guarantee it'll put a smile on your face. If you're missing out on Sasquatch, cross your fingers for a date in late summer/fall.