Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 82

In preparation for tomorrow's garden party, Cold Spring Park's First Annual Spring Fling, I spent most of my day making origami boxes, for the grass planters, a craft we were doing for kids. While they were quite easy, the old wrist/finger muscles were quite sore.

E and I then decided to take the dogs for a walk, and deliver our newsletters.
We have one of the longest routes, which isn't really so bad as there are lots of apartments, that we can't drop in, and it's a good walk for the dogs. It was just a little hectic because we had to drop those, and get back in time for me to get picked up by AA for our concert that night:
The Decemberists!

Let me tell you a tale of the Decemberists. AA and I were introduced to the Decemberists long ago by an all-but-forgotten friend, MJ. He was this character that we worked with, and actually ended up getting fired for totally ditching us on a shift at the ole East Pointe Super Center.

MJ is one of those people that you like to hang out with on a purely superficial basis because he will most likely eff up and cause you emotional turmoil:
consistent cheater on fiance/gf
consistent flake about work shifts
kind of poopy to his male friends (I had heard som t'ings)

But he brought us the Decemberists, and we were immediately smitten.
With the band.
So MJ burned AA copies, she burned me copies, it was a new-music love fest.

FINALLY they came to Wisconsin, in Madison, and AA and I were set to go.
We made the trip, met PO up there with friends and family, and had a good time.
They even sang this song that we had never heard before, but everyone else seemed to know.
Which made us feel like bad fans.
But I got a t-shirt, told the merch guy about my big rib cage, and we had to agree it was a great show.

We waited and waited for their Wisconsin return.
But sadly, none was to be had.
I refuse, believing Milwaukee is a good enough city to see shows in, to go to Chicago to see shows, where I will have to pay more than $3 for a Pabst Tall Boy. That is not happening in my world.
Plus, I'm sure you've read about my hatred for Chicago. And not just the baseball team.
So it seemed like it took them forever to come.
They were supposed to come, but took ill and the show was canceled, never to be rescheduled.
Until now.
So AA and I were qutie excited.

We took in dinner at John Hawk's Pub and watched the as the huge line for the general admission seats compacted. We were slightly concerned, but not incredibly so. The show was at the Riverside, and honestly, I really don't think there is bad seat. We decided we would be happy if we could sit where we sat for the Flight of the Conchords.
So at 720 we entered the Riverside and got pretty good seats, if I do say so myself.
We ended up meeting some other people who were in line for two hours who were only a couple rows ahead of us, so I was happy with my decision to enjoy a Strongbow and veggie burger on the riverfront.

The opening act seemed well received by the audience, "Blind Pilot." I enjoyed them, although I couldn't help but think that the lead singer sounded EXACTLY like Jackson Brown.
Early Running-On-Empty-Jackson-Brown.
Not late-She-Must-Have-Been-Somebody's-Baby-Jackson-Brown.
AA and RH refused to believe me, but I stand by my words.

Then the glorious Decemberists.
Performing the WHOLE Hazards of Love album.
Which, I have to say.
I wish I would've been familiar with before the show.
It's a concept album, and while I do have a penchant for concept albums, I really wanted to know more of the story, knowing of Meloy's songwriting prowess, I'm pretty sure there were some lyrical gems that I missed mostly because I'm the worst lyric-hearer in the world.
See: Wake Up I Might Sit on You for I Got My Mind Set on You by George Harrison. Seriously.
But, with that in mind.
I still really enjoyed the show.
Minus the dancing hippie girl.
I understand it was part of the show, but I found her incredibly distracting.
But this could be for my hatred of hippies seeping through.
(She did redeem herself at the end of the show. More on that later)
So I was impressed, and mostly angry at myself for not being a good fan and getting the album before the show.
I must have seen the band perform on a late night talk show or something, as one or two of the songs in the first set sounded familiar.

They then took a break, which thank god for AA as I didn't hear them say it would be a break, so I may have just left.

The second part of the show was a greatest hits conglomeration of old songs, the songs that made me initially fall in love with the band. I was happy, but I will say some of the energy did seem to dissipate. They had some good banter, seemed to like Milwaukee, and did cheesy back and forth singing with the audience. Which, personally, I love.

The last song of their set stole the show, in my opinion, as they brought out the two lady singers from the Hazards of Love portion and did an amazing cover of Heart's Crazy On You.
It was perfect.
For the encore, in typical (well they've done it for every show I've been to) Decemberists' fashion they brought up audience members (lots, to the point of crowding poor Colin like that scene from Jesus Christ Superstar) for the refrain "Hear all the bombs fade away" from their song Sons and Daughters. It was nice to see that they still keep that touch in their act even though they are grown up and putting out concept albums.

For a more cohesive and easier-to-read-review, read this.
Written by my friend Mollie!

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