Few people had ever heard of the Shins before the 2004 film Garden State put them on the map with "Caring is Creepy" and "New Slang." It's questionable how many of the 20-something crowd that gathered at the Red Bull Soundstage late Friday afternoon to see the band has ever seen the movie, but that certainly didn't stop the Shins from drawing a headliner-sized crowd that stretched the entire length of the south lawn of Grant Park.
In the thick of sweltering heat at a late afternoon performance, James Mercer's beautiful, haunting melodies may have been just what the crowd needed to cool down. Still, after an hour and fifteen minutes, the slow pace of the show seemed to test the crowd so much that two balloons floating through the masses provided a much-needed pick me up. There were plenty of sing-a-long moments for the Portland-based band, including the understated, simple hook of "Simple Song" from the group's latest CD. Still, the sleepy set struggled to motivate a crowd ready to keep rocking.