out and about: the decemberists
  • FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Photo by Chris Gersbeck for Brooklyn Vegan


Hours following The King is Dead's arrival at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 music chart, The Decemberists took the stage at the infamous Beacon Theatre. A historic moment for band members and audience alike, the Beacon was all-too-perfect of a setting for the celebration. The Oregon-based, folk/rock group flawlessly performed an unforgettable set.

The band was clearly thrilled with their recent feat, and one would expect that their set list would be saturated with their most recent hits. To the delight of faithful fans, Meloy and crew integrated the songs that led them to their most recent accolade. Opening with "July, July", they included multiple favorites such as "O' Valencia!" and "The Chimbley Sweep". The show was stolen by the powerful performance of "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid". Although the newest album is absent of Meloy's narrative sea tales, the songs from The King is Dead did little to disappoint.

Meloy blessed the audience with an apparent improvisation of The Decemberists dueling banjos. Sitting at the stage's edge, wielding his acoustic, he challenged special guest, Sara Watkins's fiddle. This along with the band's hilarious attempt of reenacting the Battle of Trafalgar, emanated the modest acceptance of their No. 1 honors.

While Meloy mocked the evening's predicted "wintry mix," nearly a foot of snow had surrounded the historic setting. It's no surprise that not a seat in the house was vacant. Attendees were readily willing to brave the harsh conditions. The reminiscence of a superb performance surely aided in the treacherous journey home.

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MP3: "Down By The Water"
The Decemberists on Myspace
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