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El Paso welcomes The Shins

Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05

The Shins

Andres Rodriguez

The Shins performed live at Tricky Falls.

The Portland-based. band, The Shins, gathered 1,300 in attendance, according to Tricky Fall staff, March 20 at Tricky Falls.

At 7 p.m. the doors were opened for those 1,200 people who had bought their pre-sale tickets through Ticketmaster, Bowie Feathers and Maria’s Closet, and according to the Tricky Falls staff, about an extra 100 people bought their tickets at the door.

Lines extended from the side of the building and crept to the end of W. San Antonio Ave., against the red brick walls. Many of the fans were even waiting in line since 5:30 p.m.

Liz Ogren, UTEP graduate student and Jose Perez, senior international business major, were anxious to hear the two songs that are featured in the movie “Garden State” — “New Slang” and “Caring is Creepy” from their 2001 album “Oh, Inverted World.”

Sure enough, both Ogren and Perez, among others, were able to hear the songs they were expecting. The Shins made a special acoustic version of “New Slang.”

“Well we’ve been waiting for a few months and my dad bought us the tickets,” Ogren said. “He likes The Shins, so he’s somewhere out here tonight, I’m excited because this is our first time here.”

Perez, who also had never been to the Tricky Falls venue, was impressed as he first walked in through the old, renovated theater doors.

“For my first time here, this is pretty laid back and I like it a lot,” Perez said.

This was also the first appearance of The Shins in El Paso. The band originated from Albuquerque, N.M. in 1997.

At around 7:30 p.m., the Albuquerque guest performers, Sad Baby Wolf,  started the show. The alternative band featured previous members of The Shins, including  Marty Crandall, vocalist and guitarist, and Neal Langford, a guitarist who also featured on other instrumentation.

Featuring a similar sound to The Shins, Sad Baby Wolf played along with the audience, throwing colorful glow-sticks to audiences on the ground floor and balcony.

“I didn’t know who they were but I liked the way they kept getting involved with the crowd,” said Marissa Olivas, freshman civil engineering major. “You could tell they had a connection because they kept mentioning that they were from Albuquerque and I think they did well because they kept the energy going.”

Within the next hour more people filled the floor and balcony, leaving enough space to barely move arms and sway to the music. It was then at approximately 9:00 p.m. that an ominous recording started to play.

The crowd was jumping up and down, occasionally being stepped upon, knowingly the audience then loudened their cries and claps, when, within the next five minutes James Mercer, lead singer and guitarist of The Shins, made his appearance.

The Shins currently consists of Joe Plummer (drummer), Yuki Matthews (bassist), Jessica Dobson (guitarist) and Richard Swift (keyboardist).  Dobson did not make an appearance for the show.

Limited space to move didn’t stop Juan De la Garza Luna, junior creative writing major, from dancing away.

“The show was amazing,” Garza said. “They selected their songs carefully, from mellow to upbeat (which) always kept me swaying in rhythm.”

And mellow is what The Shins are prominently known for, as they opened with “The Rifle’s Spiral” a song featured from their 2012 album “Port of Marrow.”

The line-up included most of “Port of Marrow.” They performed “The Rifle’s Spiral,” “Simple Song,” “Bait and Switch,” “September,” “It’s Only Life” and “Port of Marrow.”

Other albums, such as “Oh, Inverted World” (2001), “Chutes too Narrow” (2003) and “Wincing the Night Away” (2007) made the in-between filters.

At around 11 p.m. it was that lullaby pianistic sound that the audience recognized. Synchronized lights turned to a dark blue, focusing on Mercer’s swaying momentum and “Sleeping Lessons” from “Wincing the Night Away” began to cascade.

“Sleeping Lessons,” a song that originally is listed as two seconds short from four minutes, extended double its length, gaining exceptional praise from the crowd.

“My favorite song had to be ‘Sleeping Lessons’ for sure, and it was a good pick to close out with,” Garza said. “That shift from the soft lulling first verses of James into the effervescent verses with blaring guitar and drums that follow always drives me crazy.”

With the close of “Sleeping Lessons,” Mercer and the band members left the stage while the audience expecting more remained put. After an intermission of approximately five minutes, The Shins gave their encore.

Moving, pounding, whistling, and screaming was all that was heard while the audience waited for Mercer to come on stage once again.

“Marisa,” a song not featured on any of their four albums, was the final closing to the concert, leaving the audience satisfied with their two-hour set. The show ended approximately at 11:20 p.m.

Overall, The Shins debut in Tricky Falls, left fans from El Paso, Las Cruces, Ciudad Juárez and other nearby cities fulfilled.

“This is a band that I have loved since I was a child,” Olivas said. “And I’m glad that I got to see them now as an adult, it was just really great.”

Marilyn Aleman may be reached at prospector@utep.edu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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