I went to see The Decemberists at the Commodore on Saturday, the band returning to Vancouver after having to postpone their last show on account of all their gear being stolen. Originally, they were to play at Richard’s on Richards, a venue I prefer due to it’s intimacy. However, since that time, the Decemberists have “broken through” somewhat, having mentions been made of them in Wired, the Globe & Mail, and event Time, I believe.
But regardless of venue, I was excited to see them. This marked the third time I’ve seen them, and true to form, they’ve improved remarkably between each show. They are now an excellent live act. Colin Meloy, who when I first saw them, shuffled nervously about the stage, mumbling somewhat incomprehensibly between songs, is now a confident, friendly front-man, engaging with the crowd amicably and frequently. They’re also much tighter, which I’d expect at the end of a tour. More bizarrely, they sported a uniform of sorts, in a set of matching rain-coats (you know, the button-up brown kind).
The show itself was great. An unexpected highlight for me was them doing a rendition of The Who’s “Armenia”, which is an old favourite of mine. They also played for a goodly long time, which is nice. It marks two shows in a row where the band played for longer than I expected.
The opening act, who’s name I never caught, was really, really bad however. I could’ve done with missing them. On the other hand, getting there early meant that Leah and I could get the good seats upstairs at back.