The Decemberists Play Radio City

Janice
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Last night The Decemberists played Radio City Music Hall in New York. In a two part set, The Decemberists opened with playing their entire rock opera The Hazards of Love— the love story of Margaret and William as they combat an evil, jealous woodland queen. The record features female vocals of Becky Stark (from Lavender Diamond) and Shara Worden (from My Brightest Diamond).

Regardless of what you think of the album, you can’t deny how impressive these musicians are for generating a ludicrous idea and bringing it unapologetically to fruition. While watching the performance you could tell this was a collective effort as the group writhed together at their respective drum set, not everyone humoring Colin Meloy as he explains, “So then there’s this murderous rake and…”

Dressed for their respective parts, Meloy donned a tie and suspenders– bringing suspenders back to good standing since Pete Doherty wore them on his way to court. Stark who provides the voice of Margaret looked like a cross between the Corpse Bride and a Christian being baptized in the river. Worden who plays the angry queen rocked out barefoot so hard, it rivaled the writhing dances of Karen O.

It was very suiting for the Decemberists to play Radio City. Sitting in the venue, I was constantly waiting for a Disney level production to kick in and an angry muppet rake to fall from the rafters mid song.

Set List:

The Hazards of Love

Intermission

Crane Wife 3
July! July!
Billy Liar
Dark Was the Night Compilation
Bachelor and the Bride
Dracula’s Daughter (As Colin Meloy jabs at himself and the self-declared worst song he ever wrote, “A douchey chord progression. Full of douche…”)
O Valencia!
The Chimbley Sweep
Heart Cover, “Crazy on You”

Encore
Pete Buck plays on song a I don’t know
Sons and Daughters

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