James Mercer's new/old band, The Shins, played their first Portland show in some time last night, running through songs new and old to a packed house at the
Rose Garden Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hal l Crystal Ballroom Roseland Theater Aladdin Theater Doug Fir. It's still Mercer's familiar and otherworldly voice fronting the outfit, of course, but it was the local debut of this particular configuration of the band, now made up of Mercer, Jessica Dobson, Yuuki Matthews, Richard Swift and Joe Plummer. This follows Mercer's well-documented wholesale ouster of the old lineup, but that's another story all-together.
So how did it sound? The word on the street according to some, at least, is that it was "very loud." Since this isn't exactly a word that's been synonymous with The Shins in the past, might we be led to believe that this will change in the future? A new record is scheduled to be released on Mercer's own Aural Apothecary imprint some time next year, but until then it's the live version upon which we'll be judging. Speaking of which, they opened last night with this decidedly more rocking version of "Caring is Creepy" (thanks, You Tuber dinosaurjane)...