I saw The Decemberists tonight. I also ate a tasty vegetarian, portabello burger with buffalo sauce from a place I’ve been meaning to try (their food truck was parked in the park) and sipped wine before the show.
(I’m not exactly vegetarian, but I love food in general so I’m willing to try all sorts.)
The Decemberists were perfect. I didn’t want the night to end, even though my feet were sore from all the dancing and jumping and standing.
Edit: I hadn’t quite found the words I needed to express my gratitude to The Decemberists for their show at Marymoor Park last night, July 16, when I first made up this post. It’s something that will stick with me for a while. Colin walking out with his glass of wine and suit, looking nonchalantly at the crowd, then slowly grabbing his guitar and singing “The Singer Addresses His Audience”–the perfect kind of opening to any show. The song begins with, “We know, we know, we belong to ya.”
People crowded the stage as the rest of The Decemberists appeared on stage, encouraged by joyous applause and hollers. They finished out the song and welcomed us. It felt like coming home.
The Decemberists probably did every song I could have ever wanted and/or needed them to play. Even some of their really fun songs that I just wanted to dance to. Probably the first time they got me and made me tear up through a song was “The Engine Driver,” whose lyrics are beautiful enough on their own:
“And I am a writer, writer of fictions
I am the heart that you call home
And I’ve written pages upon pages
Trying to rid you from my bones”
Even now I can’t read those words without getting chills. I can’t say I was able to hold it together well. And that was still early on in the show.
We sipped wine, we watched Colin sip wine and we sang our hearts out to every note and word we knew. Every moment that had etched its way into our memories. “Make You Better” was next on the list of songs that pulled me apart, but not nearly as bad.
Then there were the songs that just blew me away live like “Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid.” Hearing Nora O’Connor belt out the words to “Repaid” in that song was everything I could have hoped for and more. They broke it down and got soulful for us. And at the end of the night, when they did the “Mariner’s Revenge Song” we were instructed to scream bloody murder as a huge cardboard whale ate the band. They conducted us through parts of the songs. They made us a part of the show.
And now all I really want is to be back there in that summer breeze, hanging in the low 70s, under the night sky with hundreds others staring up at these people who have given us so much for so long. I want to see the stage be lit up in brilliant color. I want Colin to say, “Maybe this will linger with you later,” and conduct us all in a chorus of, “Hear all the bombs fade away,” as they finish the last 1.5 minutes of “Sons and Daughters.” I want to sing it over and over again in front of that stage with them as we did that night, nearing 2 minutes of echoed love. I don’t want the melody to end. I don’t want to give my feet a break. I just want to remember those words and this moment forever. Please, dear God, just take me back.