Weather Forecast


Fargo specials vote means tax cuts, refunds for some property owners

Familiar slang: The Shins open Bluestem concert series

Singer/songwriter James Mercer brings his band The Shins to Bluestem Amphitheater Sunday night. Marisa Kula/ Special to The Forum

MOORHEAD—The Shins open the summer concert series at Bluestem Amphitheater Sunday night.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, don't worry. You likely haven't heard the indie rock band on local radio as its top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart was 86 with 2006's "Phantom Limb."

Singer/songwriter James Mercer and his revolving lineup of players aren't a flashy lot whose antics grab headlines, become viral clips or memes, save when "America's Next Top Model" hopeful Elyse Sewell—then dating band member Marty Crandall— wore three different Shins T-shirts on the show in 2003.

While you may not recall hearing about The Shins, there's a good chance you have heard the group's music.

"New Slang"

The group's signature song is a haunting melody that is memorable on its own, but its exposure is just as noteworthy. In 2002 McDonald's aired a commercial using the tune and two years later in the movie "Garden State," Natalie Portman introduced the song to Zach Braff telling him, "it will change your life." The exposure did just that for Mercer and Co. The group moved from Albuquerque, N.M., to Portland, Ore., where Mercer still lives and works. The song also appeared in episodes of "Scrubs," "The O.C.," "The Sopranos," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the MTV reality series, "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica."

"Gone for Good" and "Those to Come"

The makers of the film "In Good Company" hoped including two newer Shins' songs would have the same effect as the group did on "Garden State." You probably don't remember the Topher Grace/Scarlett Johansson movie, but "Gone for Good" remains a staple in The Shins' sets.

"So Says I"

Fans of "Gilmore Girls" may recall the band playing spring break during the fourth season of the show, but more likely remember Paris kissing Rory after the song.

"Phantom Limb"

The group made its "Saturday Night Live" debut in 2007 to play this tune. To Mercer's chagrin, he was asked to play the six-year-old "New Slang" rather than a newer song as the second number, but obliged in hopes that he would be invited back.

"Simple Song"

After a five-year hiatus, Mercer returned in 2012 with a new lineup and the album "Port of Morrow." The lead single "Simple Song" created a buzz after it was used in the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" during the scene that revealed who the mother was. They also played the song and "It's Only Life" when they were invited back to "Saturday Night Live" that year.

If you go

What: The Shins

When: Gates open at 5 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m., Sunday

Where: Bluestem Amphitheater, 801 50th Ave. S., Moorhead.

Info: Tickets range from $27 to $51.50, plus fees., (866) 300-8300.