The Decemberists – 2011-06-16 – State Theatre, Portland, ME

So this is my first in a series dedicated to concerts I have gone to.  I will start with the one I went to most recently, but will post some reviews of one I’ve been to in past years also.

Last week I went and saw the Decemberists.  I arrived just before the opener- Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek).  This was actually the first night she had opened the show, but she had spent the tour as a fill in member (for Jenny Conlee, who was diagnosed with breast cancer) for the Decemberists.  Sara flew her brother in to accompany her on the guitar and backing vocals, while she played the fiddle.  She was really good, playing a mix of bluegrass, folk and gospel.  They played for a measly 30 minutes, which could be expected for an opening artist.
After a 30 minute wait, The Decemberist joined the stage.  The intro was quite interesting actually with Colin Meloy (from backstage) telling us to “close our eyes and imagine you’re in a forest somewhere in the Pacific Northwest – maybe with a cup of strong coffee in your hand – and you see a strange group of people walking towards you through the trees…” .  He continues to spin a short tale, then the band took the stage.  It was a wonderful set,  mixing old with the new.  My personal favorites were The Rake’s Song and The Crane Wife.  As a relatively new fan of the Decemberists, there were a few songs I didn’t know, but overall enjoyed this set.  Colin seemed very down to earth and made sure the audience was very active and involved with the set.  At one point he was getting everyone to shake hands with the people on either side of them and introduce themselves, and another time getting people to clap hands with the people around them (and even joking to slap foreheads).   The one downfall to the whole show was it seemed to go by so fast.  I entered the venue at about 7:15 and was left it at about 10.   Overall though, it was a a very fun night and will definitely go see them again!
Setlist was as follows:
July, July!
Down by the Water
Calamity Song
Rise to Me
The Bagman’s Gambit
We Both Go Down Together
Won’t Want for Love (Margaret In The Taiga)
The Crane Wife 3
All Arise!
Rox in the Box
The Rake’s Song
O Valencia!
The Perfect Crime #2
This Is Why We Fight

Raincoat Song
When U Love Somebody
The Chimbley Sweep

June Hymn

(pictures posted above were taken with my cellphone so excuse the poor quality, and setlist above was taken from here.)
Decemberist Links:

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