The Shins' James Mercer Performs at Croce's
Lucky fans provided with an intimate acoustic set
Acknowledging that this was a brief set, Mercer gave a quick hello and launched into his performance. Though the music was only comprised of Mercer’s guitar and vocals, the songs were emotive, and sounded incredibly full, as if designed for this kind of stripped down performance. The bareness of the songs allowed Mercer’s voice to be showcased to its fullest potential. Mercer often sang with his eyes closed as if completely unaware of his guests, and displayed impressive control over his vocal range, commanding the attention of the tightly packed room.
To promote the upcoming release of The Shins latest album, Port of Morrow (out March 20 via Columbia) Mercer played two new tracks, the single, “Simple Song” and the B-side, “September” that he simply introduced as a, “love song.” The new songs flowed easily in between a string of old favorites and elicited enthusiastic applause that suggested many fans were already quite familiar with the new tracks. Mercer rarely paused between songs to engage in banter, expect once to pay tribute to Croce’s founder, jazz musician Jim Croce, confessing that he himself was in fact a fan of the late musician. With the clock ticking in this brief KPRI sponsored set, Mercer quickly segued into his final songs, “New Slang” and lastly the acoustically inclined track, “Young Pilgrims.”