Arts & Entertainment

Off Track: For Shins, Fans Swoon, Not So For Spoon

If there was any question as to whether Monday’s Merriweather Pavilion concert was a double bill or a straight up Shins show it was answered with the first spacy sounds of the Portland-based band’s set-opening song “Sleeping Lessons.” When the lights came up, so did the happy hands of the Shins fans that had staked out the front of the stage, finally loosing the screams they had patiently swallowed while Austin-rockers Spoon buzzed through their mid-show set.

It didn’t take long for frontman James Russell Mercer and his mates to win over the youthful, if sparse, crowd with a snappy mix of hits from The Shins’ three major works, including “Sea Legs” and “Phantom Limb” off latest release Wincing the Night Away.

Bookended by a spot-on cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” and a searing “So Says I,” the encore capped an engaging and energetic performance that slightly upstaged the supporting Spoon.

Playing behind San Fran opening act Vetiver, Spoon sounded rushed and never comfortable. Plagued by a phantom buzz early on, the foursome sped through a set that largely lacked the swagger for which they are so appealing.