By Casey Newton
Just after nightfall at the Outside Lands festival, the Shins took the stage for their first tour in years. The band’s most recent album, Wincing the Night Away, was released in January 2007; they last toured in 2009. They picked up their instruments and launched into “Caring is Creepy.” “It’s a luscious mix of words and tricks,” frontman James Mercer sang, sounding louder and looser than I remembered. That’s when I noticed who was standing behind him: save for their melancholy singer, these weren’t the Shins at all.
Why did James Mercer fire the rest of the Shins? My new piece for TwentyFourBit investigates.