I saw The Shins twice in a row this week: Tuesday night at the Paramount in Seattle, and last night at the Crystal Ballroom here in Portland.
I want James Mercer to have my babies. His vocal range is amazing, and he never misses a note--which is saying quite a bit, because some of his high notes are quite alarmingly high. Amazing voice + pretty melodies + hyperliterate lyrics = love.
The show last night was in some ways much more satisfying for me than the show in Seattle, partly because I had staked out a truly excellent spot with a clear view of the stage, partly because I had finally, finally recovered from the worst of my flu, and partly because the sound was much better--the sound at the Paramount was so loud that the midtones ran together and were quite badly distorted in a good number of the songs. But last night reinforced the Concert-Going Curse between borktron
and me (we share a good number of curses, including a Valentine's Day Curse): we shall never watch a concert together while both of us are mostly healthy.
See, at every live show we've ever been to together (Radiohead, Medeski, Martin and Wood, The Shins back in 2003 and Field Day Fest, among others), one or both of us have been sick, usually with the flu. Last night marked the first time I could remember in which we were a) both at a concert, and b) healthy. Finally! The Curse was broken!
And then we found out that his friend Crystal had left her ID back at her apartment, so ID retrieval hijinks ensued, and just as the show started, Michael left to go meet her. By the time they made it back? The crowd was too dense for them to work their way to where I was.
I was amused that the Curse held, but I was also mildly exasperated at Fate, who seems determined to have me go to shows alone. My friend Matthew also had a ticket, but he got to the show very, very late, and we didn't end up meeting at all--he had to leave early to pick his parents up from the airport.
Other events of note:
- The woman next to me fainted. One moment she was dancing along happily, and the next moment: ker-plop. Luckily, she had friends with her, who helped steer her out of the crowd.
- Various people, out of nowhere and apropos of nothing, asked me who the opening band was. Good thing I knew the answer, ha!
- The Shins spontaneously broke into an absolutely fantastic cover of a Pink Floyd song--a song whose title I can't remember, but I do know it's from Dark Side of the Moon
. James Mercer couldn't keep his face straight long enough to see the song through to the end, though, which is a damn shame, because it was both brilliant and hilarious.
- "Girl on the Wing" was re-worked into an almost unrecognizable lounge number. So. Good.
Somebody teased me about being a groupie last weekend--I think it was konomaigo
, but it might've been somebody else. All I can say is: if I had enough money and free time, I'd happily follow bands like The Shins from city to city. Something about seeing live shows makes my brain and my heart very happy--during a good show, I'm literally euphoric the whole time the band is playing. I'm currently in the process of putting myself on a very strict budget for the next four months to force myself to save money for law school (first up on the chopping block: eating out), but concerts are the one indulgence I'm allowing myself.Edited to add
: One more noteworthy thing: The huge spread in terms of age range at last night's concert surprised and pleased me. Most of the shows I go to tend to be filled with people within 8 years or so of my age; one notable exception was John Vanderslice, where most of the audience members looked to be well into their 40s. Last night? There were 50-year-old couples, and wee teenyboppers (the youngest person I saw there was probably 12 or 13) with their parents, and everything in between. Nifty.