Last night, SNR and I went to see the Decemberists in Montclair, NJ. It was a nice little train ride and we had a quick bite and arrived in time to relax a bit first. The opening act started; a nice, little group called Hall of Flames. A little folky, but enjoyable. One sidenote, the people who showed up halfway through their set were rude dicks. They hung out in the back of the hall and made so much noise, it was distracting as hell. If you don’t want to see the opening act, at least shut your trap and let them do their thing, people.
Then, the main event started. The Decemberists came out and didn’t fuck around. They started right in and did the entire Hazards of Love. Now, I’ve never been big on seeing live music, KMFDM being the exception, who I’ve seen nine times, because it’s like going to a circus of cyberpunks. The Decemberists have made me regret that habit. I said to SNR at one point, “It’s like being in church. But good church.” It was (to quote The Cookie Reacher) amazing. I had goosebumps numerous times and I felt (even with the cold) electrified. The band had all the fervor and soul of a Baptist church choir and Colin Meloy was our metal catgut preacher. During the entire first set, he seemed so immersed in the music, I expected him to start singing in tongues. I looked around at the audience a few times and the age range was so wide, in one row, you could’ve had grandparents and their grandkids easily sitting next to each other without a glance. Every one of them had this face :D. SNR described Becky Stark as Margaret as “ethereal” and I couldn’t find a better word to describe her. Her voice is so lilting and soft, I doubt I could ever hear anyone else sing that part without it faltering. BUT. Shara Worden. Holy. Holy. Fuck. When The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid started, she sauntered to the front of the stage with the swagger and brashness of a west coast gangster rapper, the soul and power of a gospel singer and the carnality and pure sex of a disco era porn star. The crowd went KAZOO. It’s hard to gush about her without making it seem like the rest paled in comparison, but that’s power. For someone to outshine that group, it takes a lot. Of course, the percussion for The Rake were incredibly fun and well done and as a whole, I could watch that over and over without a regret.
They took a ten minute break and did a second set of random songs from other albums and it seemed as if Colin Meloy took on a new persona. He was charming and bantered with the crowd and was highly likeable. I got to hear Engine Driver, which is my favorite Decemberists song, so I was happy with that. I could not stop thanking SNR all the way home and I hope this high lasts for a long time.