The Decemberists

Wow.

Set (N.B.: most of the setlists on Stuff and Nonsense were compiled by me; this one’s a collaboration unsuspecting setlist.fm user Roocifier246, who filled in the many blanks)

  • The Crane Wife 3 (yesterday my buddy Mike responded to a tweet of mine about the song “Sons & Daughters” by saying the band should play The Crane Wife back-to-front; this opener made that scenario possible, if only for a few minutes)
  • A Beginning Song
  • July, July!
  • Calamity Song (preceded by an amusing story about Colin Meloy’s song Hank and followed by a few token Canadian jokes–some of which were aimed at the Jugo Juice clearly visible through the venue’s back doors. I buy protein shakes from that Jugo Juice regularly; it’s still strange seeing bands like the Decemberists at a venue that’s literally across the sidewalk from my office)
  • Los Angeles, I’m Yours
  • Make You Better
  • Rox in the Box
  • Sleepless
  • Anti-Summersong
  • Summersong
  • Philomena
  • The Wrong Year
  • Carolina Low (breathtaking)
  • The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
  • A Bower Scene
  • Won’t Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
  • The Rake’s Song (afterwards Colin Meloy remarked, “That’s a terrible song.” It really is; I feel unclean whenever I hear it. But it’s also a brilliant song.)
  • Down by the Water
  • Dracula’s Daughter
    • O Valencia!
  • The Mariner’s Revenge Song (replete with being-eaten-alive crowd participation and a giant blue papier-mâché whale)

1st encore:

  • Cavalry Captain
  • 12/17/12

2nd encore:

  • Four Strong Winds [Ian & Sylvia] (Meloy: “This is called ‘Class A Pandering'”)

Highlights? “Carolina Low” was the highlight, but the entire concert was magical. I love the Decemberists; I listened to them a lot from 2009-2011, and one of my most enduring musical associations is driving Cowboy Trail down to Fernie while listening to The King is Dead at full blast. I’d never seen them live before yesterday; after the concert I almost got in the car and followed them to Edmonton.

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