Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And I sat for a time by the valets in line

First up, the Decemberists concert last week . . .

Fantastic! I was not really planning to go because I had seen the Hazards of Love show at Lollapalooza, but then my friends Jill and Chris came to town, plus I found out that the band would play another set of "regular" songs after the rock opera show, so then I decided to go, and I am very glad I did.

First of all, the H.o.L. show was amazing. Since I was in the second row and it was not raining, the experience was far better than the outstanding show at Lolla. Of course Shara Worden stole the show again, belting out the evil queen's role in top form, but the entire production was awesome.

But I really loved the post-H.o.L., where I saw old favorites, some of which I'd never seen live.


I never tire of "July, July," and it was a lovely way to start the second set. But the next song was a real treat. "Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right" is a B-side from the "Billy Liar" EP, and I only vaguely knew this song, but in concert, it takes on a beauty that I had not recognized before.

Check out the album version of this song*:
(* Thanks to Jake for introducing me to the Grooveshark widget.)

The next songs, a wonderful pairing of "Los Angeles, I'm Yours" and "Grace Cathedral Hill"
showcased the band in supreme form, and Colin's banter also added a lot of humor to the show. "The Crane Wife 1 & 2," already an emotional powerhouse, soars to new heights in a live show, and I was genuinely moved by this performance.

A song that the band has been playing a lot of lately is a cover of Heart's "Crazy on You," and the two guest singers from Hazards of Love, Shara Worden and Becky Stark, take center stage on this most peculiar but fun cover song. Check out a video from another show.

The show concluded with a solo performance by Colin of an old song from his pre-Decemberists days in the band Tarkio, which was a beautiful acoustic song called "Save Yourself."

And then came my all-time favorite Decemberists song, "Sons and Daughters." I love this song so much, and Colin got the whole audience participating in a spine-tingling, goosebump-inducing singalong at the end of the song.

I think this picture turned out great.

Another great Decemberists show, and a great evening with friends.


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