The Decemeberists are an anomaly in today’s rock culture, a band that submits concept albums and then performs those albums at their shows. What is even more impressive is the accuracy and energy the band brings to the show, and that is what stood out most to me, when the band is at their peak it is during the first set of the show. The Hazards Of Love was performed in its entirety last night, and it was nothing short of epic. I found myself consistently getting goose bumps and this lingering feeling of being overwhelmed by what I was seeing unfold before my eyes. The album was played flawlessly live, and the added effect of costumes and lights only heightened the experience. For me, I feel like art rock is an outlier in music today, but the Decemberists bring new hope to this fading genre.
After the Hazards Of Love set was performed, a set break occurred. The Decemberists reemerged and launched through a number of tracks from their remaining albums. This is where the show lost momentum for me. To see songs from the other albums was fun, and entertaining, but it lacked the mind blowing quality of the first set. Add to it, I felt like the second set lacked flow, as the band seemed to meander through slower numbers for most of the set. I was also perturbed by the crowd itself. They seemed to be engulfed in their own indulging conversations at times during the show, which I found to be highly rude to the band. Overall, the Decemberists are a band that is on their collective “A” game in concert.