Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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Photo: Lauren Wilson
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The scene is iconic. Two people are sitting in a waiting room. A young woman hands her headphones to a young man she just met, stating that, “This song will change your life.”

That scene, from 2004’s "Garden State", also changed the life of The Shins, catapulting them from relative unknowns to practically overnight sensations. The song, “New Slang,” may have been repurposed for the film, but it came from the band’s sophomore album, Chutes Too Narrow.  

Following their rapid success and with a new bar set, they set out to write their third album, Wincing the Night Away, which would peak at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and earn the band a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album. It was clear the band wasn’t just a one-trick pony, cementing career that, 10 years later, would see them still selling out shows around the world.

The Shins' North American tour came to San Diego for two nights of performances at the North Park Observatory in support of their newest album, Heartworms, released on March 10.

The stage was set up much like a garden. Giant flower decorations adorned the stage. The night started off with “The Rifle’s Spiral” from their Grammy-nominated 2012 album, Port of Morrow. The band began rolling out songs from their new album as they jumped into a song from their new album, “Name For You,” dedicating it to the audience.

Throughout the night, the band maintained a more relaxed vibe, not letting the music take center focus. Each song got cheers from the audience, no matter if it was new or from one of their previous albums. But it was the encore of “New Slang,” the same song that got the attention of many new fans for the band, that got the biggest applause.

The Shins continue their success with their new album, already garnering positive reviews, and the end of their first part of North American tour. Soon, they’ll head across the pond for a European tour and return for more touring and festivals around the states.