The Shins In Concert After a five-year hiatus, James Mercer and his band The Shins are back with a new lineup and one of the year's most anticipated new albums, Port of Morrow.

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 still from Drowse's "Klonopin" video. YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Drowse's 'Klonopin' Soundtracks A Heavy Dose

Steeped in detuned guitars and iridescent noise, Drowse sounds like an intimate Mount Eerie home recording overdubbed with a worn-out cassette of The Cure's Disintegration.

Watch Ty Segall Perform 'Despoiler of Cadaver' Live in the Studio Davis Bell/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Davis Bell/KCRW

Ty Segall, 'Despoiler of Cadaver' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the LA rocker perform a glam-disco cut from his new album, Freedom's Goblin.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

Twenty-six years after its first appearance on Mountain Stage, the eccentric rock band played songs from its latest album, 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo.

Pere Ubu On Mountain Stage

A still from Birthing Hips' music video for "Internet." YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Birthing Hips' 'Internet' Is Beautifully Deranged

The Boston band makes brainy, noisy punk that reflects sonic adventure and technical mastery. "Internet," from its album Urge To Merge, shows off the group's flair for the uncanny.

Back To Top