Monday, November 17, 2008

Show Review: The Decemberists @ MSU, 11.12.08

I have lost track of how many times I've seen The Decemberists.  I believe this would've been my 10th show if you count Bonnaroo 2007.  (Since I only caught the first 5 minutes of that set and then went to watch Wilco and Feist, I don't think it counts.)  Anyway.  This was honestly my least favorite of all the shows I've seen.  

I'm not saying it was a letdown; it was still a Decemberists show after all and I enjoyed it very much.  But I usually leave a Decemberists show feeling like a sheltered drama club nerd who just discovered the evils of rock n' roll: elated, exhausted and maybe even a little elitist, like only these people understand the joy I'm feeling.  Like everyone outside of this room is probably at home watching The Hills and what a terrible existence that would be.  I left this show feeling cheated, like it had only just begun.  The crowd had FINALLY stood up on the last song before the encore, and then it was over.

I think it was just the choice of venue.  The Decemberists, musically, were totally on top of their game.  Jenny's organ part on The Island blew my mind.  Chris on the steel pedal guitar was flawlessly dreamy.  But the stage setup didn't lend to much audience interaction.  Everyone was seated, and there weren't even any aisleways to move into.  The front row was separated from the stage by a tiny area, a poor excuse for an orchestra pit.  Colin had his toes practically hanging off the edge of the stage while he played, trying his best to get people into it.  Unfortunately, it was mostly to no avail.

The highest point of the show came at the very end, when The D's changed up the setlist at the last minute.  The hurdy gurdy was out and ready to play Sons and Daughters, when Colin (...and his sexy little English major outfit...sorry! but the vest! swoon.) launched into a brand new song no one had ever recorded before.  It was amazing.  I'm so excited for the new record now.  It's suppose to be out next April.  

I dare not post an MP3 of the new song, because let me tell you: the taper at this show is the biggest Douchebag I have ever come across on the internet.  You know that saying that goes something like "winning an argument on the internet is like winning the Special Olympics"?  He didn't get the memo on that one.  I highly recommend taking the time to download the lossless recording of the last song, "Hazards of Love" which can be found here.  Then you can convert it to MP3 yourself: [ winamp | OSX ]

This is not Hazards of Love 1, 2 or 3.  Which number this one is, or how many there are, only the band knows...

shanty for arethusa
july july
here i dreamt i was an architect
valerie plame
the bachelor and the bride
leslie anne levine
record year
perfect crime
the island
o valencia
16 military wives

angel won't you call me
hazards of love

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