Bonnaroo Day 2: The Decemberists “Threaten” Those In Lawn Chairs, Set Gets Mixed Reviews, SIMGE Loves IT

Photo by Chris Rotolo (The Decemberists @ Roo '11)

“How is everyone doing out there?” inquired The Decemberists mastermind Collin Melloy of the congregation gathered about the What Stage.  “Hello to everyone standing…And to everyone in the lawn chairs, don’t worry, just know, when the revolution comes, you’ll be the first against the wall.”

It’s truly amazing how quickly thousands of festival patrons, crippled from the grind of enduring countless hours of show hopping, will rise to their feet with a little threat upon their lives.  Melloy truly understands how to manipulate an audience…but he also knows how to entertain one.

“This is a song about the end of the world,” Melloy continued before deploying “Calamity Song,” what SIMGE named “the most alluring and catchy” track about Earth’s impending doom since R.E.M.‘s “It’s The End Of The World As We know It (And I Feel Fine)” in its review of the band’s 2011 release The King Is Dead, drawing wolf-like howls from the newly inspired assemblage.

“Calamity Song” fronted a string of  six consecutive cuts from the Portland, Oregon collective’s latest full-length release and, despite the album’s strong marks earned from such reputable outlets at Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and, of course, Speak Into My Good Eye, it appears a portion of the fan-base may be fixated on the pixie laden mysticism of the band’s earlier catalogue, as the newer tracks received visibly less crowd participation than “July, July” or “Yankee Bayonet.”

When Melloy announced, “We’d like to reach back into our 20th century Lisbon dispute music, which I know a lot of acts are doing this weekend, don’t mean to be redundant, hope you enjoy,” setting up “Rox In The Box,” the song didn’t draw thunderous boos from the audience, so much as sections of the crowd were busy discussing their disdain for the new music, rather than signing along, pushing one fan so far as to shout “I hate this!”

However, these types were in the minority, and The Decemberists were able to captivate the bulk, especially with the lauded fiddle-play of fan favorite Sarah Watkins, who was bathed in waves of praise throughout the set…bottom line, I loved this performance, and the The Decemberists’ new direction, the Americana-Rock route, is beautifully done…so keep your head up Collin.

The Decemberists Setlist (Download The Entire Live Set Below):

  1. July, July
  2. Yankee Bayonet
  3. Down By The Water
  4. The Rake’s Song
  5. Won’t Want For Love
  6. We Both go Down Together
  7. Calamity Song
  8. Don’t Cary It All
  9. Rise To Me
  10. Rox In The Box
  11. This Is Why We Fight
  12. All Arise!
  13. Dracula’s Daughter
  14. O Valencia!
  15. The Crane Wife 3
  16. 16 Military Wives
  17. The Chimbley Sweep

About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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