La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


The Decemberists - 11/12/06 - First Ave.

Yesterday evening Kal, Ned, and I saw The Decemberists at First Ave. This was my 3 time seeing them and while they were great upon my first experience, the last show at First Ave was even better. So as you can imagine, I was expecting this to be a very fun entertaining show. The opener was Alasdair Roberts, a singer songwriter from Glasgow, Scotland. Accompanied with just an acoustic guitar and very relaxed drummer, the Scottie made his way through a very pleasant folky set. He even invited 3 girls from the crowd up on stage to do a bit of soft shoe dancing. His set lasted all of 25 minutes before he made way for the main attraction.

Opening the Decemberists set was the lead song from the new release "The Crane Wife Pt. 3." This seemed to set the stage for the rest of the evening. While there was absolutely nothing wrong with the setlist, nearly all of the selections, save for the highlight of the evening "The Island," were of the 3 and a half minutes pop sing-a-long variety. We also came to learn that Colin Meloy has been feeling under the weather, which was fairly noticeable, and seemed to affect his usually enthusiastic stage presence.

Following the opener was "July July!" (The only selection from Castaways and Cutouts), "We Both Go Down Together" and "Engine Driver" from Her Majesty..., the dancey "The Perfect Crime" and then "The Crane Wife Pts. 1 & 2." After completing the 10 minute number, Colin ran off stage, assumingly to ralph or sit down for a spell to save himself from fainting on stage. The rest of the band saved faced while Colin was off-stage catching his bearings by playing "You Are My Sunshine" to which the entire crowd joined in singing. Colin thankfully eventually came back on stage and the band ripped through the remainder of their set, including new songs "Yankee Bayonet," "O Valencia," and the aforementioned "The Island."

The set concluded appropriately with "Sons and Daughters" during which Colin pleaded with the crowd to "sing his sick away" and the whole room filled with voices joining the band to sing "hear all the bombs fade away." I know I was singing at the top of my lungs. It was an awesome moment, one to remember. The band then left the stage, and did not seem to plan to come back out, but the crowd would have none of it. After about 10 minutes of clapping and screaming for the band to come back out, they honored us by treating everyone to a stripped down version of "A Song for Myla Goldberg" from Her Majesty... While the show did not live up to expectations, it was most certainly not a disappointment. As mentioned earlier "The Island" fantastic, and if I was not going to hear "The Tain," this had to be played. I will most certainly be looking forward to their return to the Twin Cities.


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