Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Decemberists (Festival Review)

The Decemberists are known for their romantic tales and whimsical stories that are woven through their music. Their latest album Hazards of Love centers on a woman named Margaret, who falls in love with William, a shapeshifting beast of the forest, and the jealous forest queen and the villainous Rake, who bring conflict to the two lovers.

The sun had barely set tonight when The Decemberists took the stage at Prince's Island, the beautiful urban oasis that is the site of the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The audience was weary from the enormous energy we had just spent, keeping up with Arrested Development.

Jenny the organist began with a haunting melody and the band began to tell us the tale of the Hazards of Love. The story itself was pushed aside in favour of the characters themselves, who came to life through the music. The music rose and fell as the band shuffled around, playing organ and guitars, then drums, then some less-recognisable noisemaking contraptions.

As The Decemberists progressed through their epic tale, their was a magical energy radiating from the stage that kept the tired crowd charged until the well-deserved encore. Once I had seen the show, I realised that listening to the CD was really just the appetizer.

Here is a song from Hazards of Love that is outstanding to see live, my favourite from the show.

The Decemberists - The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing
Download MP3 (zshare) (YSI) or Listen on YouTube

CD/vinyl: Insound | Norman Records | Recordstore | Rough Trade
Digital: Boomkat | 7digital | Amazon MP3 US | Amazon MP3 UK | iTunes


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