The Shins live in concert from Le Poisson Rouge. Ryan Muir for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ryan Muir for NPR

The Shins live in concert from Le Poisson Rouge.

Ryan Muir for NPR

Live in Concert

The Shins In Concert

Few bands of the past decade have resonated with fans quite like The Shins. The wistful, jangly pop songs on the group's first two records, 2001's Oh, Inverted World and 2003's Chutes Too Narrow, quickly became a soundtrack for two generations: Gen-Xers who were entering their 30s and Millennials who were coming of age. It was a time of tremendous change and uncertainty, with the dot-com crash, Sept. 11 and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Shins, it seemed, offered a voice of understanding and calm, with wry, quirky songs that asked the same questions on every young person's mind: How do I fit in this world? What should I do with my life? What will I become?

A decade later, the band has an entirely new lineup, while frontman James Mercer, The Shins' only remaining original member, has a new outlook. Performing for a crowd of about 300 fans at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge, Mercer and his new group seemed at ease with their own place in the world as they introduced songs from their first new record in five years, Port of Morrow.

The set for this special performance, to help launch NPR Music's new iPad app, was just an hour long, but the band hit every sweet spot, opening with "Kissing the Lipless," the first cut from Chutes Too Narrow, and following with "Caring Is Creepy," the opener to Oh, Inverted World, before playing the first single from the new record, "Simple Song." The band even offered a beautiful, tear-jerking version of its most popular song, "New Slang." It's been nearly a decade since actress Natalie Portman, in the film Garden State, famously said the song would "change your life." Hearing it live at Le Poisson Rouge, it still felt like she might be right.

See more photos of the show by Ryan Muir here.

Set List

  • "Kissing The Lipless"
  • "Caring Is Creepy"
  • "Simple Song"
  • "Bait And Switch"
  • "Saint Simon"
  • "It's Only Life"
  • "September"
  • "New Slang"
  • "The Rifle's Spiral"
  • "Australia"
  • "No Way Down"
  • "Phantom Limb"
  • "One By One All Day"
  • "Port Of Morrow"
Credits

Produced by Saidah Blount, Mito-Habe Evans and Amy Schriefer. Audio engineer: Kevin Wait. Videographers: Chioke Nassor, Claire O'Neill and Doron Schachter.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

A young man walks through a sunny wood in a scene from LVL UP's new video for "The Closing Door." Courtesy of the artist. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist.

All Songs TV

Take An Existential Journey With LVL UP

The New York band's new video for "The Closing Door" tells a sunny coming-of-age story.

Blind Pilot performs live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Brian Feinzimer/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Feinzimer/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'Packed Powder' (Live)

KCRW

The Portland, Ore., folk-rock band performs an anthem from And Then Like Lions live for KCRW.

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Sadie Dupuis, in a still from Tancred's "Pens" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Songs We Love

Tancred, 'Pens'

Jess Abbott flirts with evil, personified by Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis, in a dark power-pop gem.

Ages and Ages perform live in The Old Church in Portland, Ore. Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic hide caption

toggle caption Jarratt Taylor/opbmusic

Favorite Sessions

Ages And Ages, 'Something To Ruin' (Live)

opbmusic.org

Known for handclaps and group harmonies, the band takes on a darker tone in "Something To Ruin."

Back To Top