|Shins / Beachwood Sparks / Treasure State|
By Daniel Coston
What a difference a year and lot of touring makes. After months of opening for the likes for the Red House Painters and Preston School of Industry, Washington's own Shins has developed a fan base that is bordering on mega. Little wonder then that this headlining show sold out in good time.
Treasure State opened the show with a short set of agreeable, subdued songs. Although the band didn't set the sweltering venue on fire, they were a good prelude for the music that followed.
Shins' Sub Pop label mates Beechwood Sparks, with a couple of new members in tow, took the stage next. On record, the band's retro-California sound merges the lazy psychedelia of '60s San Francisco with bursts of loose Los Angeles pop. While this concoction hasn't always worked on disc, the group's sound gels into a creamy, albeit slow burning confection tonight. After gaining momentum for much of the set, highlighted by songs from their excellent new EP, Make the Cowboy Robots Cry, the Sparks cut loose for the last few songs, and the crowd responded by movin' and groovin' for the rest of the set.
For many, one of the pleasant surprises of the Shins' show tonight is discovering that the band cuts it as headliners. In fact, some would argue that the group's catchy indie pop sound works better in a longer set, with time to let the band rock a little bit more than when it opened for, say, the Red House Painters.
Playing numerous selections from its Oh, Inverted World CD, as well as a couple new songs, the Shins did its best to entertain the capacity crowd, all while dodging water that was dripping from the club's overhead air conditioner. The band lost a couple of points with me for ragging on the town I'm currently residing in (call me next time you're in town, guys), but hey, even in the great big world of rock, nobody's perfect.