It’s a very good show season for fans of The Shins. The band is currently on tour going through most major cities and even doing 2 night stints in some towns. San Diego was one of those lucky towns. The Observatory North Park was host to The Shins for 2 very sold out back to back shows this week. Fans were practically glowing as the band treated us to those classic tracks we love so much and even some newer jams.
I made it inside the packed Observatory just as the band was set to come on. Their stage was framed by these giant, beautiful, and delicate paper mâché flowers and anchored by similar artwork to the one that is gracing their upcoming record, Heartworms. James Mercer and his band hit the stage and got down to business fairly quickly. They started their set with “Rifle’s Spiral” and I was somewhat worried we’d get a bunch of new songs on the setlist. I was immediately settled when they began playing “Caring is Creepy.”
What followed was an excellent setlist of songs both old and new. We did get to hear some new songs that included “Name For You” and “Fantasy Island,” their current favorite to play, James Mercer confessed. But we got plenty from their older material including too, “Mine’s Not a High Horse,” “Saint Simon,” “Kissing the Lipless,” “Girl Inform Me,” and “Gone For Good” among many others. I’ve always been partial to their first 3 records and if you’re anything like me I think you’ll like what the band has in store with Heartworms. It seems to be packing those same almost whimsical vibes from Chutes Too Narrow, the rhetoric we got from Oh, Inverted World, and the liveness of Wincing the Night Away. I think I’m going to like it a lot from what I heard.
The crowd seemed to have brought their A game as they loudly sang along and tried to dance as much as they could, despite how packed in we all were. The whole crowd was all smiles and the energy peaked as their set came to an end. I honestly thought we were all spent until the band came back out for their encore. We were all swaying along when they began to play “New Slang” and you could physically see everyone in the room swoon. They finished their set solidly and the crowd left The Observatory North Park happily in a buzz.
I know I probably don’t have to tell you but if The Shins are coming to your city -and they most likely are, get to their show. Stubhub or Craigslist your way in if you have to, you will not regret it. Tour dates can be found here.