buttonThe Shins @ Harajuku Astro Hall (31st Jan '05)

To The Extreme

The Shins
As soon as the Shins' keyboardist/guitarist Marty Crandall got behind his microphone he said "konnichiwa" and quickly followed with "arigato". Although those in attendance applauded the gesture, it was extremely unnecessary as the majority of the aging hipsters rammed into the small venue were American. Looking to support their fellow countrymen during their first Japanese tour, droves of expats flocked to Astro Hall to watch the extremely revered indie act.

Opening with Oh, Inverted World's "Pressed in a Book", the Albuquerque, New Mexico quartet got the appreciative audience nodding along to the extremely catchy keyboard-driven pop number. After finishing the song, the extremely talkative Crandall thanked the crowd and said that the Shins wanted to "attempt to knock your socks off." Although they didn't quite accomplish this extremely difficult feat, they were still pretty darn good.
The Shins

Between songs, Crandall stole the spotlight with his extremely humourous banter. Trying to make out his crib sheet of Japanese words in the darkened club, he shushed everyone so that he could concentrate on delivering the extremely important phrase "I'm horny." As the few Japanese spectators in the room laughed, the majority of American men became extremely silent as they searched for something to write the vital expression down on. Crandall then spoke about how "extremely happy" the Shins were to be in Japan and how they had been training for months for the "Extreme Dojo". Although I have no idea what the extreme dojo is, he continued to make reference to it throughout the show.
The band was in top form as they made their way through the bulk of 2003's Chutes Too Narrow. Mixing James Mercer's witty lyrics and intense singing with extremely well written indie rock has worked well for the Shins. Although they've received little to no commercial airplay, word of mouth coupled with the internet and its extremely "evil" file-sharing programs have helped the band sell over 400,000 copies of the disc. It has also helped build an extremely solid, dedicated fan base who eagerly sang along to every one of the anthems.

The Shins
The Shins
Extreme was definitely the theme for tonight's 75 minute show. Crandall commented on how "extremely hardcore" guitarist Dave Hernandez was for performing even though his right hand was bandaged because of a compound fracture. A few minutes later, after Mercer broke a string Crandall remarked that "The extreme nature of that song caused James to break a string." While a technician fixed the guitar, the band decided to break out an acoustic number. The addition of the extremely good "New Slang" to the festivities was welcomed by all.

"So Says I", "Young Pilgrims", "Kissing the Lipless", and an impromptu, extreme metal jam that included Crandall, Hernandez, and drummer Jesse Sandoval were some of the concert's numerous highlights. Prior to "Young Pilgrims" Crandall began to talk, but was interrupted by a fan who felt the need to loudly comment of the keyboardist's extreme case of erect nipples. Feeling slightly dejected, he retreated to the back of the stage to have drown his sorrows with Sandoval while Hernandez and Mercer played the song.
The Shins

Ok, you've got to be getting a little sick of reading about how extreme everything was by now, but that's what doing things to the extreme is all about. However, not being an extremely extreme guy, this review is admittedly becoming a little too extreme even for me so I'll finish it off with one last extreme laced ending. With two extremely good albums under their belts, a legion of extremely adoring fans, and an extremely fun live show the Shins are definitely a band to watch out for. Do yourself an extreme favour and check them out next time they make the extremely long trek to Japan. You'll be extremely happy you did!
After finishing their set, the band remerged wearing plastic animal masks amidst a round of extreme applause. The extremely daunting task of trying to sing through the small mouth hole in his monkey costume caused Mercer to remove it before starting the encore. Despite Crandall's extreme threat of throwing him out of the band for not wearing his mask he held his ground. The rest of the group eventually followed his extreme act of defiance and cast aside their disguises while making their way through "One by One All Day." Wrapping up with "Gone for Good," the band made their exit much to the extreme disappointment of the audience.

The ShinsThe Shins
The Shins

report by shawn and photo by keco
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photo report : The Shins I Sparta Locals

buttonmag files :

buttonTo The Extreme : (05/01/31 @ Harajuku Astro Hall ) : review by shawn, photo by keco
buttonphoto report : (05/01/31 @ Harajuku Astro Hall ) : photo by keco
buttonA Kick in The Shins : (05/01/30 @ Shinsaibashi Club Quattro ) : review by jab, photo by yegg
buttonphoto report : (05/01/30 @ Shinsaibashi Club Quattro ) : photo by yegg
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The official site

The Shins


The latest album


『Chutes Too Narrow』
( US import )
previous works

『Oh, Inverted World』 ( US import )

check the albums?

previous works by shawn


buttonTo The Extreme : The Shins (31st Jan @ Harajuku Astro Hall)
buttonCD review : "Panopticon" : Isis (27th Jan)
buttonWinter Be Damned : Ash (17th Jan @ Shibuya AX)
buttonInterview : Peaceful, But Far From Quiet : Mono (20th Jan)
buttonCD review : "The Nein" : The Nein (13th Jan)


buttonCD review : "Christmas" : Old Man Gloom (28th Dec)
buttonMusic Soothes the Savage Beast : eastern youth (20th Dec @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonAnd to all A Good Night : Shonen Knife (19th Dec @ Daikanyama Unit)
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buttonThree More, Two More, and Take it to the Left : Hawaiian6/ Idol Punch (11th Oct @ Shinjuku Loft)
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buttonMedical Breakthrough : The Most Notorious Vol. 18 feat. Melt Banana and K.K. Null (25th Sept @ Shimokitazawa Shelter )
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buttonCD review : Andre Ethier With Christopher Sandes : Andre Ethier


buttonCause Music Must Be Magic : Mayor McCa (21st Dec @ The Casbah,Hamilton, Ontario )
buttonMake It a Double : EVANESCENCE (28th Jul @ Shinjuku AX)
buttonGetting Knifed in Tokyo : Shonen Knife / bloodthirsty butchers(12th Jul @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonHail Hail! Some of Japan's best come together to pay tribute to San Diego's finest : TRIBUTE TO ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT feat. John Speedo with Jet Boys, Retro Gretion, and KEMURI, (21st June '03 @ Shibuya Club Quattro)
buttonThe Canucks are Coming! The Canucks are Coming! : Simple Plan & GOB (26th Apr @ Akasaka Blitz)
buttonno title : Banda Bassotti with Doberman, Oi Skall Mates & Rude Bones (12th May @ Kawasaki Club Citta)
buttonThe Enchanting Sounds of Summer : KEMURI (31st May @ Shinjuku ACB Hall)
buttonAbsolutely F**king Brilliant!! : The Coral (21st Apr @ Shinjuku Liquid Room)
buttonno title : Short Circuit w/ Asparagus (24th Mar @ Shibuya AX)

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