23 Apr 2007, 00:51

The Decemberists @ The Uptown Theatre

The Decemberists are all growns up. In the 2 and a half years since I last saw them at the packed but tiny Jackpot Saloon they’ve now gone on to be able to completely fill the Uptown Theatre, a venue probably 20 times the size of the Jackpot. It’s clearly no accident though, as they proved with their awesome performance last night. For a band with such bookish tendencies, they sure know how to get the people moving. Colin was in great form, engaging the crowd and keeping things lively while practically mugging for the sea of digital cameras (all while jokingly complaining about their eventual appearance on Flickr and YouTube). They played a great set (almost 2 hours long) which started out with a surprise, opening with “Oceanside” from their first EP. Most of the set was from The Crane Wife, with no complaints here since that’s their best album since Castaways and Cutouts I think. There were a couple songs I really wanted to see that they didn’t do, like “The Sporting Life” and “Grace Cathedral Hill” but that’s just the way it goes. At the end of “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect” (probably my favorite song of theirs) they revealed the secret of its origin, segueing seamlessly into a few bars of the chorus of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac (wish I’d kept recording to get that bit). We even got a Morrissey cover (“Everyday is Like Sunday“) during the encore, appropriately enough since we’ll be seeing Morrissey at the same place next month. Despite being in the balcony it was still a captivating show, and I still managed to get a few decent photos and videos (though I’m kicking myself for not getting the great crowd interaction during “16 Military Wives”)