Melanie and I saw the Decemberists Thursday night at Charlotte Fillmore. This was our second trip to the Fillmore and, even though it is a corporate hellhole, it sure has excellent sound and sightlines. I did notice that the venue now has some benches against the back wall. I credit my Twitter rant from a few months ago for the installation of these benches. The first time we went we stood for hours and our backs were killing us at the end of the night. I took to Twitter asking the club for benches against the back wall for old people to take a load off. This week at the Decemberists show I see benches. All credit to me. Or not. But I like to think I made a difference somewhere in my short little life and if all I can claim is benches for old people at the Fillmore I'll take it.
The only picture I took with my phone because, really, why bother? You can't see shit
It was a good show and the second time I had seen the band. It was the first time they had played Charlotte and lead singer, Colin Meloy, remarked on this early in the night and he was visibly surprised by the lack of crowd response to this announcement. I think he misunderstood what he is getting with a Charlotte crowd. A good percentage of that crowd probably isn't from Charlotte and haven't lived here for long so they don't have an emotional attachment to the group's first Charlotte visit. And there are those, like me, that have already seen the band and had to drive a couple of hours for the privilege. So the response was probably a mix of, "So what? I've lived here since August" and "Duh, it's about time, you sons o' bitches."
A Decemberists show is a unique experience. The nature of that band denies it any of the "dig me, I'm a rock star" vibe you can get from some shows. I was reminded more than once of the Flaming Lips show I saw in Asheville several years ago. It wasn't so much a concert as a performance. I don't know if that is the right word, that makes it sound boring, which it most certainly wasn't. It was the first time I witnessed a lead singer ironically tell a crowd during the singalong portion of a show when he brought us down to a whisper to then imagine the line we were singing. But that is what makes the Decemberists fun, they're different.
I will recommend that if you go to see the show stay until the end. They are doing a two song encore and the song they end with is perfect.