“You have to hear this one song; It’ll change your life, I swear.”
The above line is from movie “Garden State” told by Natalie Portman’s character Sam, to Zach Braff’s character, Andrew in regards to the Shins’, “New Slang”.
The exquisitely strange, The Shins are back at it with their first record in five years. To celebrate the new tunes, The Shins graced the Fox Theater Pomona with a sold-out performance last Saturday night.
The large stage was widespread with neon-colored, oversized flower bulbs and backdropped with the quirky album art from their forthcoming release Heartworms, which follows 2012’s Port Of Morrow. Fans of all ages filled the Fox Theater with a thrilling eagerness.
The Shins have been a staple in indie music since the early 2000’s. Their definitive sound has remained strong throughout the years and here we are with their newest record to be released March 10th with Columbia Records. The guys have released a few tracks from the album over the past few months and the anticipation has been so real.
This show had a beyond solid set list that covered their music through the years, from Wincing The Night Away‘s “Australia” to Oh, Inverted World‘s “Girl Inform Me.” Frontman and basically the group’s sole creative, James Mercer has set the bar high in the band’s genre for years and years to come. I’m pretty sure any day could instantly be lifted with the sudden sounds that come from any Shins song.
Heartworms is his second self-produced album since the group’s 2001 debut Oh, Inverted World. Ultimately, in interviews, Mercer said the new music really reflects growing older and the world of parenthood.
Hearing them live was without a doubt a trip for me personally. Having been on my bucket list of artists to see for quite some time, they exceeded any and all expectations.
Some of the favorites like “Australia” had such unique arrangements for the live performance. The styles in the music were dramatically changed at times but never strayed from the deep connection fans had to the lyrics and melodies.
Not only did we hear our favorites but we were treated to about five unreleased songs from Heartworms. The band has publicly released the folky new track, “Mildenhall” which tells a story of how Mercer first came into music after picking up his dad’s guitar. We also got to here the infectiously pop track and said single “Name For You.”
Overall the energy carried from start to finish. The four-song encore was just as magical, sharing perfectly repetitive “La dee dum’s” in unison with a packed house. Ending with the ever-building “Sleeping Lessons,” Mercer surprisingly mixed the fan-favorite with the ever-classic “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
Without a doubt the Shins gave us a night to remember and left me in even more anticipation for Heartworms’ release this Friday.
The Shins have another Los Angeles date at the El Rey Theatre on March 10, the same day Heartworms is released. Hope you scored tickets!
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein
More Photos of The Shins at Fox Theater