The Decemberists Spring Tour 2015 Poster
03/30 – Massey Hall – Toronto, ON
03/31 – Benedum Center – Pittsburgh, PA
04/01 – UB Center For The Arts – Buffalo, NY
04/03 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
04/04 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
04/06 – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
04/07 – Academy of Music – Philadelphia, PA
04/09 – The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
04/10 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
04/11 – The Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
04/12 – Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival – Knoxville, TN
04/13 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
04/29 – Mesa Performing Arts Center – Mesa, AZ
04/30 – North Park Theatre – San Diego, CA
05/01 – Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA
05/02 – Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
05/22 – Les Schwab Amphitheatre – Bend, OR
05/24 – Big Sky Brewing Company – Missoula, MT
05/27 – Red Rocks – Denver, CO
05/29 – Sumtur Amphitheatre – Papillion, NE
05/30 – Peabody Opera House – St. Louis, MO
05/31 – The LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
06/01 – nTelos Wireless Pavilion – Charlottesville, VA
06/03 – Red Hat Amphitheatre – Raleigh, NC
06/04 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
06/05-06/07 – Governors Ball – New York, NY
07/10 – Edgefield – Troutdale, OR
What a terrible show, what a beautiful show from Portland’s The Decemberists, when they came to Minneapolis to play the sold-out and acoustically shiny Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus—thankfully, the beautiful parts were very much so, and the couple terrible parts were very purposely meant to be that way.
Alvvays managed to play all four released singles, ending with current radio hit, ‘Archie, Marry Me’, with guitarist Alec O'Hanley playing on Rankin's so-called "tiny girl guitar".
Reserved but joyous applause met the next song, ‘Calvary Captain’, causing Meloy to mention, “So, so, so very quiet... unnerving.” That quiet was quickly broken as everyone stood and clapped along for ‘Down by the Water’, from 2011’s The King is Dead.
A purposefully simple ditty called ‘Hank Eat Your Oatmeal’ was created as Meloy strummed at his kitchen table, trying to convince his young son to eat—that same song (as we also heard at Nov 2013 Meloy gig) would morph into ‘Calamity Song’, also from 2011 (much better song, though both are catchy).
New songs were a little limited with ‘The Wrong Year’ going back to back with single, ‘Make You Better’ before the band launched into their folk-prog epic, ‘The Island’, with standout performances from instrumentalist Chris Funk and accordionist/keys player, Jenny Conlee. Even background singers were top notch as Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor Kean (both artists in their own right) kept a steady hand on the vocal rudder.
Stage lights went from all red for ‘Won’t Want for Love’ to all blue for crowd favorite, ‘The Rake’s Song’, with the latter song turning into an extended clap-a-long and ’16 Military Wives’ was a fun call-and-response contest between different parts of the venue.
“We’re going to play you the very worst song I’ve written in my entire life”, Meloy mentioned, before going into ‘Dracula’s Daughter’, to then stop to a hushed crowd, save someone from the upper balcony, shouting, “…sucks!”, which drew immediate laughter.
Luckily, as stage lights rose back up after the song, band members seemed unscathed and ready to carry on, in the next town. So, what a terrible show,what a beautiful show - the two half-baked songs purposely provided good comic relief and the audience was really treated to a nattily-dressed band, returning as strong as ever, after a few year’s hiatus.
The Decemberists at Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis (24 March 2015)