Review: The Shine live at Horden Pavillion in Sydney
The Shins may have changed their line-up, but they've held onto their magic.
The Shins @ Hordern Pavilion July 25, 2012 Review by James Marallich
It’s been a while since The Shins graced our shores – 2007 according to my calculations.
Since then, frontman and founder James Mercer has reshuffled the line-up by kicking out the three members of the Chutes Too Narrow days. Instead there are five brand new people on board, including female guitarist and singer Jessica Dobson, who adds a new dimension to every chorus.
With all these advances it’s obvious the early stuff will never sound as they do on record; the arrangements have all been reconstructed and they’ve given the music a fresh edge.
Nevertheless, the room was packed with bearded cardigan-wearers ready to get their twee on. Opening with “Kissing The Lipless”, Mercer slowly built up momentum before a swirl of lights, and exploding drums and guitars.
As the song ended the band didn’t wait for applause before launching into “Caring is Creepy.” The 2012 incarnation of The Shins that fans saw at this show has two keyboards; leading to more dense sounds than the Oh, Inverter World days.
As “Simple Song” started, the band members seemed to get in their groove and Mercer came across as cool and laid-back, keeping banter to a minimum but acknowledging it had been a while since they’ve toured our shores.
The set-list was a healthy blend of new and old. Because they’re touring the new album there was a lot of Port of Morrow material yet but oldies such as “So Says I” and “Mine’s Not a High Horse” received a grandiose reception.
A nice change in mood segued from the boldness of “The Rifle’s Spiral” to “It’s Only Life”to everyone’s favourite “New Slang”. At this very moment, the lights went down, the crowd started chanting ‘ooh ooh oohs’ and everyone held their lighters up in the air – showcasing true The Shins magic.
The encore was a strange affair that took the tone way down, with an extended jam of “One By One” and “All Day” stretched out to a full 10 minutes. Despite the lengthy ending, the band looked and sounded great, the bearded cardigan-wearers seemed impressed and James Mercer was as charismatic as always.