James Mercer Live at The Moonshine Festival

Original photo by spacehindu

The other day, possibly yesterday, I randomly came across this live performance by James Mercer who’s better known as the lead singer and guitar player for The Shins. I saw The Shines perform live at UC Davis in 2004, and I really wasn’t impressed by their performance. In fact, they were kind of boring, or off, I really don’t know. The last year, Jeff saw them in Boston ans said pretty much the same thing, that they sound just like the CD, which isn’t very cool because you could just save your money and listen to the CD at home.

But this live performance taken from The Moonshine Festival is just James with his guitar and a harmonica, and it’s absolutely beautiful. He sings with such a simple passion, but he’s never sounded better in my opinion. I’m sure this would have been a totally amazing show to be at, but this is the first time I’ve heard of him playing solo. Even though he’s by himself, he covers a lot of Shins songs including Caring is Creepy which I’ve put below for you all to listen to. He also does a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’, which is pretty damn amazing as well.

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Caring is Creepy (Live) by James Mercer

If you’d like to download this performance, just click here.


6 Comments James Mercer Live at The Moonshine Festival

  1. Rob McDougall February 29, 2008 at 7:08 AM

    Cheers for that, you’ll see it popping up in my Last.FM list very soon :)

    I’m not the biggest Shins fan, is there a proper track-list somewhere? I only recognise 2 or 3 tracks…

  2. Bobby S.Bobby S. February 29, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    I was going to write out a track list, but I posted this at like, 12:30 last night, and was to tired to care, haha…
    I’ll try and throw one up later if I’m not too lazy.

  3. shelley March 2, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    james mercer looks an awful lot like kevin spacey in that pic

  4. Rob McDougall March 3, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    please don’t be too lazy! :P

  5. Jefferton March 5, 2008 at 6:25 PM

    I don’t know why people always talk about The Shins being a boring live act. I’ve seen them twice and was thrilled both times… The first time they were in a silly mood and cracked a lot of jokes. The second time, they just totally rocked.

    Maybe I’m just a bigger fan than most. Thanks for the link!

  6. Aaron April 11, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    I think the only reason anyone could perceive them as a “boring” live act is because they seem to be able to recreate the studio versions with technical perfection if they feel like it. But sometimes they change it up. Search youtube for some acoustic versions of Australia and Turn On Me that they did for Australian TV. Supposedly Mercer is working on a solo album – looking forward to it. Oh, and thanks so much for the links. I heard the Neil Young cover before, but not the rest.

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