Review: The Shins with Joseph at Austin’s ACL Live

Austin, Texas

The Shins brought their Oh, Inverted World- The 21st Birthday Tour to Austin’s iconic ACL Live at the Moody Theater. It’s been 21 years since their debut album of the same name. We can’t believe it’s been that long and we remember what a huge deal it was then as part of the indie music movement.

Sister trio Joseph were not just an opening act, they shared the stage with The Shins most of the night, being brought back up repeatedly during the show. It was instantly clear why. Although during the opening set, they had beautiful harmonies and also some rockin’ energetic songs too. The band from Portland (twins and another sister) shared stories about their grandpa Joe who grew up in the town of Joseph in eastern Oregon. We were blown away by this band we’ve been hearing about for awhile. The power of the female voice was not lost on us-especially in today’s world. We heard folk, indie, rock, acapella, and Americana/roots. The fans couldn’t get enough and were impressed and engaged the entire time.

James Mercer of The Shins

Indie faves, The Shins kicked off in a sort of ELO style- with cool lights, ethereal sound, the band all dressed in white, and background graphic of a dormant field. We were intrigued with the stripped down, simple, unique stage setup that spanned the entire area, with the bassist on the platform with the drummer and the guitarists out front and keyboardist (and multi-instrumentalist, Patty King) on the front/side.

The songs and lyrics brought us back- we felt nostalgic for the 50s and 60s with vibes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and others; it felt like an intention to relax us so we could chill out to good vibes and even close our eyes and get lost in memories of simpler times.

The setlist of course included hit songs, ‘Sleeping Lessons’, ‘Phantom Limb’, ‘Australia’, ‘Young Pilgrims’, ‘New Slang’, ‘Simple Song’, and more. Fans joined in loud, on key singalongs that impressed the band. But we were pleasantly surprised by new songs and really dug ‘Algebra’ that we hadn’t heard before. There were some trippy parts, including use of xylophone, and slightly creepy sounding at times.

Later in the set, the lighting was cool and included more bright pink and purples and at times some strobes and cool shadows. This is a must see tour y’all-they’re on tour all summer.

Check out all our concert photos from the show and beyond on Austin 101!


Oh, Inverted World
Caring Is Creepy
One by One All Day
Weird Divide (with Joseph)
Know Your Onion!
Girl Inform Me
New Slang (with Joseph)
The Celibate Life (with Joseph)
Girl on the Wing
Your Algebra (with Joseph)
Pressed in a Book
The Past and Pending (with Joseph)
Pam Berry
Phantom Limb
Turn a Square
Saint Simon
Mine’s Not a High Horse
The Rifle’s Spiral
Simple Song
The Fear
Sleeping Lessons (with Tom Petty’s “American Girl” interlude)

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