29 October 2006

Here I Dreamt I Was a Concertgoer

I saw The Decemberists Friday night at the Tabernacle with the Scriveners — Papa Scrivener, Mama Scrivener, and Baby Scrivener, who was attending her first rock concert (you gotta love and respect parents who raise their children properly, and the Scriveners have priorities in check).

I’ve been a fan of The Decemberists since I got Castaways and Cutouts in 2002, but I’d never seen them live — none in my circle were fans, and I didn’t feel driven to see them by myself. Lucky for me, Scrivener has been raving about their shows for months and kept reminding me to get a ticket, and the Northwest doppelganger has yet to stop raving about the show she saw a couple of weeks ago. So I bought. I anticipated. I went.

What. An. Amazing. Show.

Not sure what I was expecting, but Friday night wasn’t it — it was much more. The band was full of fun and so much joy. Yes, the music was glorious. If memory serves, they performed everything from The Crane Wife (which is a wonderful album; go out and pick up your copy today). Every Decemberist had a great time on that stage — jumping up and down, running across the stage, playing in the crowd, climbing on speakers to shake balconied hands. Scrivener says they’ve been looser in previous shows, but I was still enchanted. I’d act the same way if I were on stage.

If you’re wise enough to catch The Decemberists when they come to your town, and you’re torn between catching the opening act, Lavender Diamond, or having one more cocktail at dinner, I strongly recommend the cocktail. Couldn’t stand the precious little miss, not at all. I think she’s trying for a Ditty Bops vibe, but she has neither the natural boppiness nor the good songs to back it up.

After the show, we walked down to the stage so Ella could see it. Decemberist Chris came over to chat, telling us the band saw us at dinner and were impressed with Ella and her Decemberists T-shirt. Tattoos were shared and photos snapped. I think I may take Ella with me to upcoming shows since she attracts the cool kids.

My only complaint? I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t perform “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect,” one of my ten favorite songs from 2002. But the show was so good, I didn’t think about that until I was halfway home.

If I’d known The Decemberists would be this good live, I’d be crashing on French’s floor right now, after catching them at the 9:30 Club. Anyone up for the Amsterdam or Paris shows in February?

UPDATE: Scrivener has great Decemberists posts here and here.

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13 Comments:

At 10/29/2006 08:28:00 AM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

So, so, jealous. Thanks for the report.

 
At 10/29/2006 09:28:00 AM, Blogger Ben Heller said...

Great review Beth, I've heard their shows are excellent.
I've just started listening to the new album for the first time today, and I noticed there's a lot of instruments being played like Melodica's and Xylophones and weird percussive instruments.
Do they play all these instruments live ?

 
At 10/29/2006 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

DJ CAYENNE: Let's all go see them in Paris! Or we can all bunk at Ben's for a U.K. show.

BEN HELLER: They have them all. Decemberist Chris even played the hurdy-gurdy on stage. The Decemberists will be in the U.K. in early February; I think we're all gonig to bunk at your place, so I'll spring for your ticket.;^p

 
At 10/29/2006 05:04:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

Thanks for joining us, Beth. I thought they were great Friday night too, and it was still probably my least favorite live Decemberists show! The new album is definitely way more complicated that their earlier stuff--I think every single member of the band played at least three different instruments. And Chris Funk probably played a dozen different ones: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, pedal guitar, hurdy gurdy, keyboards, drums, and who knows what else.

 
At 10/29/2006 07:27:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

That sounds like an amazing time! Way to go Beth. And smart move having the Scrivener Baby as your all acces pass!

 
At 10/29/2006 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

SCRIVENER: If that's your least favorite show, I can't imagine how great the previous ones were! Did the photo of y'all with Chris turn out okay? I'm blind without my glasses ...

DALE: It was fan-damn-tastic. I think I'm going to start renting little kids for future shows.

 
At 10/29/2006 11:50:00 PM, Blogger Scrivener said...

Yes, it turned out really well.

 
At 10/30/2006 12:31:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

It did turn out well! You should put it on your door with the Decemberists sticker.

 
At 10/30/2006 01:22:00 PM, Blogger PinkFluffySlippers said...

Hurdy-gurdy? I must check out this band...

 
At 10/30/2006 01:24:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

PinkFlufflySlippers, you'll love me forever after listening to one album; I think you'll get them and enjoy them.

 
At 10/30/2006 02:29:00 PM, Anonymous m said...

hey,

i think you should write up your review and submit it to 'no depression' magazine. i have a copy of the magazine for you if you want to see some samples--but i think your writing is as good, if not better as some of their reviews.

that is so cool about you meeting chris! he just had a baby; so he must be in full kid mode. good idea of taking a child to meet a band. i need to go get me one of those...

 
At 10/30/2006 05:51:00 PM, Blogger Will said...

Oh, do they ever put on a good live show. Seeing them at the Fillmore last year was one of my all-time favorites. Glad you got to enjoy it.

 
At 10/30/2006 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

M: You flatter me. No Depression is sold around town, so I'll pick up a copy soon. I'd love to write for Paste, and their offices are just about ten miles down the road.

WILL: A-maz-ing show. I want to follow them around the country.

 

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