The Shins at The Warfield
The Shins may well be the most perfect band I don't listen to nearly enough. I own merely one album and have loaded only three or four songs into my iPod. However, I like what I've heard enough that I signed right up when I heard they were coming to town. So tonight, Ann Marie, Paul and I hit the Warfield for the second of two nights featuring the Shins.
For a lot of reasons that had nothing to do with the band, this show was unlike any other experience I've had at the Warfield. For one thing, I think the show must have sold out very quickly because Ann Marie got our tickets the day they went on sale, and only balcony seats were available. I've never sat in the balcony at the Warfield, save the 2001 afternoon when I escorted some fans up there to watch Billy Idol sound check. No, I'm not making that up. Anyway, given that The Shins are kind of mellow, we were okay with balcony seats. And by and large, our location was fine, aside from the contact high we were sure we'd get from our fellow balcony denizens. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, San Franciscans love their marijuana.
As mellow and refrained as The Shins were, the audience was not. There was a lot of shouting to the band, beginning with the guy who proclaimed, "I love the consistency of your music!" That was odd enough that The Shins responded and had a little discussion about it. Well, the flood gates open, people began yelling all sorts of nonsense like "Do you like beef jerky?" (if you're a Shins fan and know of some significance to that question, please enlighten me) and of course, the ever-so original "Freebird!"
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the refined and sophisticated Bay Area.
As for The Shins themselves, they treated us to one perfect, mod influenced, harmony laden pop confection after another. They played my favorite songs from "Know Your Onion!" on down, and as it turns out, I learned tonight that there are several songs of theirs I enjoy that I never actually knew were Shins tunes. So for me the evening was educational as well as entertaining. And it has inspired me to procure another Shins record or two.
I didn't yell anything from my seat, but I can conclusively say that I, too, love the consistency of The Shins' music.