Vicarious Music & Media

The Decemberists in Central Park last night

Clad in mismatched seersucker suits as only The Decemberists could pull off, Colin Meloy and crew, accompanied by just as mismatched an array of musical instruments, graced Summerstage in Central Park last night.

Let me tell you why I love the Decemberists: they are fun.  They are serious musical talents who DO NOT take themselves or their music too seriously.  I find this a severely lost art, yet the most basic and simple concept of why such a thing was created in the first place.  If you are a musician, you are an entertainer, and entertainment at its core is supposed to be amusing.  Their songs are epic tales taking us back to the days of folk lore and story telling.  The assortment of instruments (oddities such as an organ grinder paired with the standard drum and guitar) as well as the dueling vocals seem reminiscent of the way a parent would alter their voice at the swells and lulls of a bed time story (see video below)


It has been a long time since I’ve been to a show that was this enjoyable.  I could have attending it alone and had almost as much fun because, shocking, The Decemberists were entertaining in and of themselves.  They play to and with the audience, incorporating crowd participation into their spectacle, even having portions that are seemingly Simon Says-esque.  Not since Arcade Fire have I seen a band this concerned with the crowd’s good time, which with the price tags associated with tickets these days, they damn well should. 

Not surprisingly “O Valencia!” and “The Crane Wife” came across as a crowd favorites, and I do believe that those of us in attendance at Summerstage last night got a much more packed show than normal.  When they originally went off stage at 9:20 they had apparently tapped out their prepared set list.  Much to the crowd’s delight, their show was so tight that they had 40 minutes to spare before curfew and came back to play another 5 songs.


Fan or not, go see the show: I don’t know anyone who could deny The Decemberists of their talents.

0 Responses to The Decemberists in Central Park last night

  1. Corey says:

    I was at that show and everything you said is absolutely true. I have not been so thoroughly entertained and enjoyed myself at a show to that extent in some time. I thought they did an incredible job with sons & daughters as well, and I liked the bit they did with the mariner’s revenge song at the end when they told everyone in the crowd to sit down…the best part was every single person did! They truly knew how to please a crowd.

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