Seeing The Decemberists in a snowstorm

by RYAN BOLTON, originally published on blogTO

The Decemberists are an apt band to see when a snowstorm is looming. Everyone is giddy, excited for a snow day. Everyone has reason to sport a beard and their warmest flannel. And The Decemberists’ name itself brings forth images of that cold, fluffy stuff.

It all started with a unique introduction. With lights dimmed, the supposed voice of Sam Adams – current mayor of Portland, home to The Decemberists – asked for the audience to introduce itself to their neighbours. It set the tone for a solid, comfortable, at times strange and powerful set from the indie-cum-rock folk band.

Launching their most recent effort, The King is Dead, a mere two weeks back, The Decemberists have once again transitioned their sound. Straying away from their high-concept albums like The Crane Wife and The Hazards of Love, their sixth album smacks of alt-country with a dab of that omnipresent folk tinge. Something that served well in showing the sheer diversity and range in the multi-instrumentalist’s 16-song set.

Opening with “Song for Myla Goldberg,” a song steeped with literary allusions, they quickly transitioned into the new country-esque single, “Down by the Water.” And they did so with ease, segueing with some deadpan banter from a chatty Colin Meloy. Meloy’s comical and meandering musings catches you off-guard at first, but you quickly embrace his bookish, dry take on just about anything, including calling us “Torontoites,” which the crowd promptly corrected him on.

Read the rest of the story on blogTO.


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