The Decemberists were in town Saturday night to perform a special lottery show where each song would be pulled at random from a drawing on stage then performed and it made for a lively evening. The lottery master was none other than John Wesley Harding who was so entertaining with his British accent and off-the-cuff quips while choosing the songs that the drawing became equally as memorable as the performance.
The show began with Yankee Bayonet and opener Laura Veirs joined the band for a wonderful introduction and the set included a number of high points notably a passionate rendition of "Bachelor and the Bride" and "The Rake Song" which featured 3 of the 5 members on drums. As one might expect the mood was a bit scattered at times due to the random nature of the game, but the game itself was so much fun it didn't really matter. The band played along in style and were quite a bit tighter than their recent New York performances and the stress of having to change instruments and react quickly brought a great, fun-loving energy to the stage.
As a fan it was fun knowing what songs were coming next because Mr. Harding pulled 3 songs at a time but special dares were included as well such as crowd surfing and a dare to have singer Colin Meloy write and perform a song live on stage which was certainly a highlight (watch the clip below). The experience was one we will not soon forget and little bonuses such as having a tennis pro hop on stage after each song, hitting the lottery ball with the song title into the crowd made every moment interesting. The band closed out the performance with a terrific cover of the Electric Light Orchestra's "Mister Blue Sky" and the audience walked out satisfied and thoroughly entertained.
Setlist Yankee Bayonet July July The Raincoat Song Bridges and Balloons From My Own True Love Bachelor and the Bride The Rake Song Culling of the Fold Dare- (Rich and Marselle crowd surf to a waltz) I was Meant for the Stage The Island The Crane Wife 3 Annan Water Dare- (Nate and John make out) Dare- (Colin write and sing a song right now) The Tain A Perfect Crime Mister Blue Sky (ELO cover)