Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Shins at the Hollywood Palladium
Mother's Day does not prevent a good show from coming into town. Last year, I celebrated Mother's Day with Rush at Verizon Wireless in Irvine. As tempting as it was to see The Vaselines at El Rey, I could not pass up the opportunity to see The Shins at the Hollywood Palladium.
Delta Spirit have come a long way since the first time I saw them at the Detroit Bar in January 2007 when they shared a Monday night residency with The Colour. Having found a home at Rounder records for their album Ode To Sunshine, Delta Spirit have made the road their second home.
I recently caught Delta Spirit at the Henry Fonda Theater when they opened for M. Ward and distinctly remember them winning over the audience. This particular night was no exception with another victory for Delta Spirit.
Adding a trumpet to fill out their already robust sound, Matt Vazquez (Vocals/Guitars) filled the Palladium via his Guild hollowbody and soulful vocals. Delta Spirit expertly knocked out "Strange Vine", "People, Turn Around", "People C'mon" "Children" might be my favorite song with Jon Jameson (Bass) kicking his bass into overdrive to carry the song. It felt good to watch a band go from the Detroit Bar to the Hollywood Palladium.
The Shins looked a little different, but sounded just as good as I remembered at the Hollywood Palladium. I considered Wincing The Night Away one of the top releases of 2007. I caught them a number of times on that touring cycle at The Joint at the Hard Rock and at the Orpheum Theatre.
In the line-up department, Marty Crandall and Jesse Sandoval have departed. Joe Plummer (Drums) and Ron Lewis (Bass) filled out the band with Eric Johnson (Keyboards) solely taking over the keyboard duties. I immediately noticed that the Shins didn't have to make a lot of instrument changes during the set that allowed the concert to flow nicely. In the gear department, James Mercer (Vocals/Guitars) primarily relied on a green Guild electric guitar instead of his yellow Gibson double cutaway.
The Shins are making a short jaunt around the States trying out some new material that will be released on James's new label Aural Apothecary. The cozy strum of "Australia" kicked things off with a bang. James would rapidly tremolo pick the short but sweet "Pam Berry" before having it melt into the jangle gem of "Phantom Limb".
"Girl Inform Me" kept things familiar before they ripped into the rapid toe tapping new jam "Fool of A Martyr". It was definitely one of the more rocking moments of the evening. "Sea Legs" had some minor tweaks with Ron making the song extra thumpy with his Epiphone goldtop bass. The overall volume of the concert wasn't especially loud and it was a rare non-earplug required show.
It would be hard not to describe their other new song "Double Bubble" as bubbly with its quick slashing guitar upstrokes and creepy crawling organ. If the new songs are any indication, the new Shins album will be rocky and I mean that in a good way. "Sleeping Lessons" was a perfect nightcap to their main set.
For an encore, The Shins covered "Helpless" by Neil Young before dipping into their back catalog with "Know Your Onion!" It only made sense on the setlist to end the evening with the super popular "New Slang" but the crowd refused to leave. The Shins luckily rewarded us with "The Past And Pending" which was stacked with backing vocals that made me forget I owe my mother dinner.
The Shins setlist at the Hollywood Palladium (5/10/09)
"Girl Inform Me"
"Fool Of A Martyr"
"Girl Don't Tell Me" (The Beach Boys)
"One By One All Day"
"Caring Is Creepy"
"Girl On The Wing" (Thanks Emily!)
"Those To Come"
"Helpless" (Neil Young)
"Know Your Onion!"
"Past And Pending"