I was keenly interested to see the Decemberists because I quite like their music. I have never even seen pictures of them, but I was not at all surprised by what they look like. Which is to say, they look just as you imagine them, which is like geeks that have made geekery incredibly cool. So cool that it's hard to imagine they're not my friends - but down that road lies stalkery madness, and I'll leave that to someone else. (I'd make a lousy stalker, after all, what with my short attention span. Don't you think stalkers have to be very patient... lurking for hours outside houses, sitting silently in their cars, or in bushes? I just couldn't do that. At least not without a flashlight and book, and then I'd be rather easily caught.)
They opened and closed with pirate songs, so I was quite satisfied. ("Shanty for the Arethusa" and "Mariner's Revenge Song" respectively.) For an encore, they played "The Taint" which was a really weird song to end with, as it's powerfully downbeat, and not something that will exactly have the audience leaving on a high note. But then, maybe that was their plan - to get us all run down and ready to just leave, rather than hooting and stomping for yet another encore. (Which, like good little monkeys, we had just done.)
Aside from the peculiar choice for encore, my only complaint was that they did not play "The Infanta" which I think would be an awful lot of fun to hear, live. Even so, the show was great, with just enough of the more mournful songs to balance out the poppy upbeat numbers. It helped that I could sing along to most of the songs, too.
I went with someone who had seen the show the night before, too (this was their second night in LA) and she said they did play a slightly different set list, but still no "Infanta" on the first night. This means, of course, that I have to see them again until they play that song. Not that I'm obssessed with it, it's just that I like how bombastic and over-the-top it is, and want to dance to it. Also, they didn't play " Billy Liar" which is a darned good tune. But they did play "Los Angeles I'm Yours" - which if you think about it, they might have either started or closed the set with. When they got to the line about
"Oh ladies, pleasant and demure
Sallow-cheeked and sure
I can see your undies"
A bunch of people in the audicence threw granny-panties at the band. And later, James Fearnley of the Pogues came out for a battle of the accordian ... and totally schooled Jenny Conlee on the gentle art of accordian-action. That was cool.
Also, this now makes me 3 for 3 for nightclubs in LA that I've danced in, which is precisely the opposite of my record in Philadelphia.
I don't really have much else to say, so I'll stop.