Last Night: The Decemberists at the Warfield

The Decemberists
November 25, 2008
The Warfield (
982 Market St.)
Review by Melissa Baron

Better than: Sitting on the plane headed home for Thanksgiving, dreading the weekend ahead filled with irritating family affairs and listening to the Decemberists on your iPod.

Portland's Decemberists infused a sold-out Warfield audience with their jovial pomp and circumstance Tuesday night. Notorious for pageantry, the five piece transported the audience from Japan to New England to California with their vocal tales of death, deceit, fantasy and love. This tour, titled the Bridesmaid Revisited tour, supports the release of several new EPs (“Always the Bridesmaid – The Single Series”). The tongue in cheek-ness is of course, intentional. For almost two hours the band convinced the audience their $32 were worth every penny.

In the almost-decade the band has been in existence, its members have developed their dramatic flair and perfectly synchronized live show. They deliver a polished and refined performance highlighting the musical capabilities of each performer and emphasizing the whimsical stories each song tells. This particular performance remained thematically separated from previous tours, as the band notoriously uses those occasions to heavily promote their most recent album or tours around a particular shtick. For example, when they released Crane Wife in 2006, they played nearly the entire album at their shows. And, several years ago, they toured in a series called the Long of It and the Short of It, spending two nights in each city playing one evening full of ballads and the other pop songs. Last night they played snippets of the new EPs, but also featured an assortment of songs from their impressive repertoire.

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