The Decemberists @ The Virgin Mobile Metro Theatre
I rocked up to The Decemberists’ Virgin Mobile (shudder) Metro gig, just in time to catch the end of Bridezilla’s support slot. They seemed to have the audience in rapture with tracks from their tops new record, The First Dance. I caught a sweet sounding Heart You Hold, before they awkwardly maneuvered from the stage.
Thirty minutes and $13 for two cans of VB (FARK!) later, The Decemberists made their way on stage, lead by a bearded Colin Meloy. Now, I wasn’t the biggest fan of their 2009 album, Hazards Of Love, and was a bit apprehensive that their Virgin Mobile (shudder) Metro gig’s set list would be dominated by it. But to my surprise the band opened with the two opening tracks from their phenomenal 2006 album, The Crane Wife – The Crane Wife 3 and The Island: Come And See, The Landlord’s Daughter, You’ll Not Feel the Drowning.
For the rest of the night, the band waltzed their way through a ‘best of’ set list that featured tracks from The Crane Wife and 2005’s Picaresque. In fact the only song they busted out from Hazards Of Love was a ball tearing rendition of The Rake’s Song, clearly the standout piece of the night.
However, the most intriguing element of the evening was the sheer list of instruments the band went through, including:
an acoustic guitar
a 12 string acoustic
a hurdy gerdy
4 electric guitars
a 12 string electric guitar
a piano accordion
2 extra floor toms (apparently everyone’s fucking doing it these days)
a double bass
I have to say though, changing electric guitars two or three times during a song is fucking excessive. Jog on guys.
Despite this wankiness, Colin Meloy kept the audience of indie kids, Josh Pyke fans and dudes that had been dragged there by their hippy girlfriends happy with jokes and witty banter.
To finish off the night, the band played a polite, but unrehearsed rendition of the Go Betweens’ Bye, Bye Pride, before sending us onto the streets of ol’ Sydney town with a singalong of Sons And Daughters.
All in all it had been a fun night. But seriously… $13. Fuck off.