The Shins Gorge Amphitheatre, George WA May 26

The Shins Gorge Amphitheatre, George WA May 26
One look from the steely gaze of James Mercer -- the only permanent member of the Shins -- quickly dispelled the rumours that his recent marriage had softened his style. Taking sips from a large glass of amber liquid, Mercer had the focused eyes of a man with conviction. His new touring band turned their energy toward Mercer when he moved about centre stage, acting as a conduit, internalizing their supportive play into his songs, his world. Without saying much throughout their set, Mercer and co. put in tremendous effort to overcome grating main-stage sound problems, which ultimately produced an overall sound that remained fairly thin throughout. The Shins built up to the newer, cleaner power pop numbers, and performed all the catalogue classics with appropriate vigour. One can only imagine how affective their set would have been with the sound on their side.