The Decemberists brought baroque-rock to NON-COMM - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

The Decemberists infused NON-COMM’s NPR Music stage with a touch of folklore magic, delivering an evening rich with instrumental complexity. Remarkably, this eight-piece ensemble managed to carve out space for each member to shine. It wasn’t just about physical space; it was the way each musician played simultaneously, yet distinctly, allowing listeners to pinpoint each unique instrumental sound. Together, they formed a harmonious blend, fitting perfectly like the pieces of the beautiful puzzle we call The Decemberists.

Following up on their Fillmore Philly show last night, the band brought an abbreviated version of their show to World Cafe Live. It was incredible to see so many unique instruments inter-playing in songs like “Burial Ground” and “The Reapers” from the sharp xylophonist’s shrills, to the accordion’s reedy bellows, and the warm brassy horn section pointed out by lead singer Colin Meloy. Their first song “All I Want” had Meloy strap on an acoustic for the gentle daydreamy with backing vocalist Lizzy Ellisontrack supporting its jazz atmosphere. “Burial Ground” was driven by the rim knocks and cracking rattle of the snare sweeping the song into its Latin and almost ska-like beat within a rock outfit. Being their first single off the new record, we can its energy is indicative of the upcoming album As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again, their ninth studio album.

“Oh No,” began with a heavy drum beat and a solo from lead guitarist Chris Funk, the solo carried through the song until Meloy realized and wanted to one up Funk so he brought his chops to the table in the middle of the performance. Both were battling for solo territory, playing a kick-ass dual solo right before our eyes. After Meloy thanked the crowd, he made an attempt to shout out Brigitte Calls Me Baby, who played on the NPR stage prior, but got the artist’s name wrong, then said “aw shit,” then realized he just swore on a live radio.  “Am I going to NON-COMM jail now?” He’ll get a pass this time, only because they completely blew it out of the water with the set-closer “Severed,” leaving the stage to a cheering crowd.

The Decemberists
  • All I Want
  • Burial Ground
  • The Crane Wife 1 & 2
  • The Reapers
  • Oh No
  • Severed
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