|The Shins: Jessica Dobson, Yuuki Matthews, Joe Plummer, and James Mercer. (Not in photo: Richard Swift.)|
Mercer has been around long enough to know the sound he wants, on record and on stage, and the current Shins roster is full of talent: singer-songwriter Richard Swift on keyboards, Jessica Dobson (who has worked with Beck and others) on guitar, Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse on drums, and Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls on bass.
As with Sunday night's Terminal 5 shows, the group got harmony vocals from Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle of Dirty Projectors. (The Shins have had several different very capable backup singers on this year's tour, including The Watson Twins during their set at the first weekend of Coachella.)
Naturally the band's latest album, "Port of Morrow,"got the most exposure during the show, but the set also featured favorites including "Kissing the Lipless" (the concert's opening number), "Young Pilgrims" (which Mercer performed solo acoustic to begin the encore), "Caring is Creepy" and "New Slang" (both from the "Garden State" soundtrack), and "Phantom Limb" from The Shins' previous album, "Wincing The Night Away."(Here is a Shins setlist from last night that claims to be complete but with the songs out of order.)
Since I've never seen The Shins in concert before I have nothing to compare Monday's show with, but it was a solid performance that had the crowd into it throughout. The band delivered a tight performance that in many cases had more of a rocking edge to it than the original studio versions of the songs, which was fine by me.
Though some fans of The Shins might be disappointed by the absence of some of the old members, it's hard to argue with Mercer's current lineup.
|Matthews, Mercer, and Swift.|
|Jessica Dobson with Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle in back.|