Sometimes the perils of superstardom are far too alluring for even the most bookish of Victorian-style storytelling gentlemen.
In the wake of cementing their first bona fide hit with the lush, straightforward The King is Dead, an indie album that reached the coveted number one spot on the Billboard chart, the band finds itself in a bit of a quandary. The album’s strict song structure coupled with lead singer Colin Meloy’s most consumable lyrics to date has gained The Decemberists a much-deserved level of uber-notoriety. However, the band seems to have lost something more meaningful in the process Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the passion and gratitude toward the people who launched it into the celebrity stratosphere.
In what might be the oldest cliché in rock and roll, during last Saturday’s sold-out LC Pavilion performance Meloy was more about himself and less about his fans while The Decemberists automated their way through a set that seemed more forced than fun. Call it ironic resentment or an ego personified; Meloy’s self-absorbed stage banter left a disconcerting taste in the mouth of some fans. Conversely, more of the crowd devoured his introspective “life lessons” than rejected it. However, the veil of modesty has certainly been lifted from The Decemberists’ collective faÃƒÂ§ade.
Yet, in amidst of all this, The Decemberists still sounded vividly precise and as amazing as they do in the studio. “January’s Hymn,” “Don’t Carry It All,” and “The Hazards of Love 4″ were charming as they highlighted Meloy’s unique vocal phrasing. An epic second-to-last sendoff, The Decemberists played “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” plump full of embellished theatrics and genius to an adoring audience.
The Decemberists closed the night with the sweet, soft “Dear Avery.” An apt finale, the song acted like a gentle breakup from an intense, passing infatuation. Apropos for the evening, the whimsical breakup song was dialed in to perfection as Meloy let his guard down for a brief, nonetheless brilliant moment.
Better late than never. Glass half full.
This review was written by Josh Fitzwater and brought to you by the Franklin University Plaza at the LC Pavilion. For more information about shows that Josh and the Franklin crew will be attending and for chances to win tickets to concerts all year long, visit us on Facebook. Photos by Autumn de Wilde.