The Decemberists – Portland, 18-Oct-2006

The Decemberists

Local heroes The Decemberists, fronted by Colin Meloy, played the second of their two pre-tour shows at the Crystal Ballroom last night, and the young crowd gave the band a rapturous welcome. If folks in the rest of the country like the band as much as they do here in Portland, then they will do very well indeed. As above, they have a nerdly love of dress-up.

They played much of the new CD, called ‘The Crane Wife,’ and it all sounded pretty good to me, if not overly exciting. Some of the new stuff veers into Jethro Tull-like territory, and one tune sounds an awful lot like Talking Heads ‘Life During Wartime’ but in general they sound like themselves, with Meloy’s wordy lyrics and lovely melodies guiding the sound. Here’s a review from Pitchfork.

At this stage the band reminds me of 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant’s original band, where she stood out from the competent musicians who had little stage presence. It seems to me only a matter of time before Colin Meloy heads out on his own. But in the meantime, I hope they enjoy the ride!

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