Timeless rockers The Shins and indie upstarts Ra Ra Riot will play MontBleu on May 11 as part of their nationwide spring tour.
The Shins began in 1996 as a side project for singer/songwriter James Mercer. Starting with “Nature Bears A Vacuum,” the band has released four full-length albums, most recently “Port of Morrow” in 2012.
Though the lineup is constantly in flux, revolving around Mercer, the melodic indie sound hasn’t morphed unrecognizably since their earliest recordings. Still riding a colorful career, the band has performed with Modest Mouse, appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and had their music played at actor Heath Ledger’s funeral. With some fresh members, including Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, the band is slated for several festivals across the country.
Joining The Shins from Syracuse, N.Y., Ra Ra Riot is a young and bright fivesome, made up of vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, violinist Rebecca Zeller and drummer Kenny Bernard. The group formed in 2006 and gained publicity with their bubbly, energetic live shows and precise and flowing instrumentals.
Their initial full-length, 2008’s “The Rhumb Line,” received smiles from reviewers and the band became a staple on festival lineups. Since then, the group has released two albums, “The Orchard” (2010) and this year’s “Beta Love.” With a slightly more synth-based sound, the group’s new tunes are highly dance-able, but still laced with Miles’ seductive school-boy vocals and the ever sweet layers of Zeller’s violin.
Between the rougher smarts of The Shins and the lavishness of Ra Ra Riot, this combo show is an indie rock fan’s weird, but happy dream. But the real question is: does Tahoe know what indie is?