And the crowd goes wild

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

And the crowd goes wild
Originally uploaded by jasmine008.
Five Dollars Well Spent

The Decemberists/ Violent Femmes concert at The Bite of Oregon- This was an insanely good deal - 5 dollars to get in (and that was good all day), and you could watch as much live music as you felt like. When my sister and I came in there was a jazz ensemble playing the Belleville Rendezvous from the movie The Triplets of Belleville, and I took that to be a good sign for things to come. I was right!

Decemberists hi-lights - 1) half moon in a purple sky with Canada Geese flying in formation overhead. I don't remember which song it was, but I do know that it was much cooler than some F-18 fighter-pilot stunt. 2)practicing screaming like one is being eaten by a whale (for the audience participation section of The Mariner's Revenge Song). To hear what it sounded like when they did this at the 9:30 club in D.C, go here to All Songs Considered and give it a listen. It took our crowd at least two tries to sound even remotely convincing.
3) the Screaming Narrators - they cracked me up. They screamed (at the top of their lungs) answers to every rhetorical question, commentary, and more. Example:
Colin Meloy: We're going to do one more song for you
Colin Meloy: Scream like you're being eaten by a whale
SCREAMING NARRATORS: (no doubt thinking they'd died and gone to heaven) AAAAAAAARGHHHHHH MY EAR!!!!!! MY EYEBALL!!!!!

I found this amusing, but they were not screaming directly in *my* ear. A friend was not that lucky and had a much less benevolent opinion of the Screaming Narrators.

anyway - here's a set list that I got from the Decemberists message board, so one could recreate at least the order of the show at home. (you will have to supply your own screaming narration):

Leslie Anne Levine
We Both Go Down Together
The Infanta
The Soldiering Life
The Sporting Life
Legionnaire's Lament
Los Angeles, I'm Yours
Grace Cathedral Hill
Billy Liar
Engine Driver
On The Bus Mall
Sixteen Military Wives
I Was Meant For The Stage
Mariner's Revenge Song

After the break from the Decemberists, the Femmes started getting their stuff on stage. People started getting a little more aggressive with their need to get to the front. The show was great, but the people in the audience were less great. I would have taken the screaming narrators back in a second if it meant I didn't have to look at the ass-tattoo of the girl the Hippie Dancer decided HAD to ride on his shoulders for Blister in the Sun, or have to be standing right next to the Incredible Backpack Bitch who lived to spin around and jab me with her luggage. Those things (and the tremendous amount of pot smoke) made the show a little less enjoyable for me.
But what made it MOST enjoyable was that the band sounded great (they even had a horn section with them!), they were clearly having a good time, and the audience seemed to be having a good time too. I liked that they brought on guests that were in the previous acts - Pat Macdonald came on for at least one song, and Petra Hayden (of the Decemberists) was on at least twice.

I often wonder if Gordon Gano gets tired of singing songs he wrote while in high school. Maybe he does, but it has got to be some kind of thrill to know that your art makes so many people SO HAPPY. I mean, people went NUTS when they played Kiss Off for the encore. The Femmes really seem to come from the humanist end of the 'here's my inner pain' spectrum. I love them.
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