Shins, Terminal 5, Shins Terminal 5, Shins New York
 
You’ve got to hand it to the Shins for playing Terminal 5 three days in a row and not looking fatigued. At all. Last night was night No. 2 in a three-night stand at the popular New York venue, and not only were Mercer and company unfazed, they were downright giddy. And so was the crowd, a sea of teenagers and 20-somethings who recited every last lyric, despite the fact that they probably first heard “New Slang” in the fourth or fifth grade.
 
It was a great night to be a fan of the Shins’ first two LPs, especially 2003′s Chutes Too Narrow. The setlist showcased older material alongside newer cuts from the band’s most recent effort, Port Of Morrow. A furious version of “Kissing The Lipless” started off the night, the song’s kiss-off sentiment segueing beautifully into the heartfelt sincerity of “Simple Song.” Even oft-overlooked tracks like “Mine’s Not A High Horse,” “Young Pilgrims” and “One By One All Day” made appearances, to fittingly fevered response.
 
Shins, Terminal 5, Shins New York
 
Mercer’s new bandmates proved to be integral in giving his insular cuts stadium-sized appeal. Former Beck guitarist Jessica Dobson whittled some impressive solos out of the lo-fi framework, while Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer made already lively tracks like “Australia” and “Bait And Switch” practically leap from the speakers. And then there was Mercer himself, improvising melodies to beloved favorites like “Phantom Limb,” leading the rest of his crew in dancier interpretations of “No Way Down” and “The Rifle’s Spiral,” and exuding so much of the good-guy vibes that made us fall in love with him in the first place. Amidst all the gossip on the blogosphere regarding the Shins’ purportedly shaky transition from the original lineup to the newer, star-studded one, last night’s show served as a reminder that sometimes change, while difficult, can sound pretty damn good.
 
Setlist For The Shins:
Kissing The Lipless
Simple Song
So Says I
Bait And Switch
Phantom Limb
Australia
The Rifle’s Spiral
St. Simon
New Song
No Way Down
Caring Is Creepy
Mine’s Not A High Horse
It’s Only Life
New Slang
1 By 1 All Day
 
Encore:
Young Pilgrims
Port Of Morrow
Sleeping Lessons