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and the anchorperson on tv goes la de da de da de diddy diddy da

the opening act for Saturday's concert, a group called Mountain Man; they were absolutely phenomenal

(Yes, that is the opening line of the chorus of "16 Military Wives" and yes, it will be relevant later.)

I have the worst headache this morning. I think my brain is melting from all the fabulousness of the weekend. Totally worth it.

Friday, Sister and I met at my office for a Girls' Night. My office is not-quite-halfway, and its proximity to various restaurants and shops makes it a good meeting point for these evenings. I showed her around my office, then took her to George's Giant Hamburger, my stomping grounds for workday lunches with Kurt, ProcrastiGirl, and K back in the day. ProcrastiGirl and I still make the occasional pilgrimage, but it's just not the same since Kurt moved away.

Anyway, I was excited to introduce Sister to the George's love, which she duly appreciated. Unlike Sal, who was unimpressed the one time I took him there. Sister and I determined that he is clearly cracked in the head.

We walked it off by browsing through Michael's, doing our best to quell the art supply wants despite the enticing discounts and generally solving the problems of the world while we were at it. As one does. Then it was a nightcap of sorts with a trip to Peachwave for a frozen yogurt toppings bar bonanza, where we decided that pomegranate frozen yogurt and chocolate sauce aren't the best combination, but pretty much everything else is. We lost track of time talking and laughing and crying (in a good way) and finally said our goodbyes well past her usual bed time.

Sal spent Saturday at the Expo Center judging desserts for a high school cooking competition so I spent my day mostly in the studio making a grand mess with every art supply I own while I waited for Sal to get home and then for The Decemberists concert later that night.

And you guys. YOU GUYS. Okay, I'm biased, I admit. I love them utterly, it's true. And I have seen them in concert repeatedly, including not even six months ago when they played MusicFest NW. And every time, they are A.MAZ.ING. So I am predisposed to swoon over them, I can admit it.

"Down By the Water", from their latest albumHowever. Saturday's concert was, hands down, my favorite of any time I've seen them. We had seats in the balcony and were even closer than we were at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Schnitz is a great venue anyway, and showcased them perfectly. It was a sold out show, of course, and they have such a diverse and dedicated fanbase that the energy is electric and they feed off that well. They played most of the "The King Is Dead" (which I got for my birthday from Sally), as well as a nice selection from the rest of their discography (set list at the end of this post).

"The Mariner's Revenge". Live. O. M. G.But the best part? OMG YOU GUYS THE BEST PART. The encore. Okay, so they made us really wait for the encore, like I thought people might start rioting, the cheering and chanting was so loud. And then finally Colin comes out just by himself and does a sweet acoustic rendition of "Red Right Ankle", and Jenny popped out just long enough to do the keyboard bit. And then he sort of left the stage and the lights went down like that was all they were going to do. AND THEN. AND THEN. They all came out, and they're all clustered right there in the front of the stage instead of taking positions at the keyboard and drum kit and everything, and Colin says that this next song requires a bit of participation (which we'd already done on other songs), and I turned to Sal and squealed, "OMG MARINER'S REVENGE" and then Colin said, "You'll need to sound like you've been eaten by a whale" AND THE CROWD WENT COMPLETELY APESHIT.

They put that song on hiatus for live shows sometime during the tour for The Crane Wife, and Sal and I were starting to despair that we'd ever get to see it live. AND THEN WE DID AND IT WAS OUTRAGEOUSLY FABULOUS AND OMG I MIGHT HAVE DIED REPEATEDLY FROM JOY. Greatest concert experience ever*, Y/Y? IN CONCLUSION THE DECEMBERISTS HAVE MY UNDYING DEVOTION FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

*WITH ONE GLARING EXCEPTION. And seriously, this is a lesson on "What Not To Do At A Concert Lest the Person Behind You Have A Smartphone And A Website". There was this woman sitting in front of me, you see. Now, you should understand that there's some sort of law of the Universe that because I am short, I am forever doomed at any venue -- whether it's a concert, a movie, a play, whatever -- to be seated or stand behind the tall person, or the kid who stands in the seat, or the moron who doesn't take off their hat, or the chick/dude who has teased their hair ten feet above their head. Sal and I will usually switch seats, although even this doesn't always solve the problem -- the person will move, too, or all of a sudden the person sitting next to them will decide to kneel in their seat or some other sort of fuckery.

Anyway, the woman sitting in front of me was a little taller than average but not a lot, and since the balcony is stadium seating, it shouldn't have presented a problem. Shouldn't have. However. This woman was apparently desperate to participate in the concert and demonstrate just how truly into it she was because she kept leaning forward in her seat, thus screwing up the entire eyeline/angle purpose of stadium seating, AND, rocking spasmodically left to right for Every. Fucking. Song. so I couldn't even just lean to one side to see around her. Her companions seemed to be mildly horrified by her behavior and her husband appeared to ask her to settle down repeatedly, but she was all, "I'm in the groooove."

I persevered, however, and managed to enjoy the show despite these perturbances. Not content to somewhat detract from the concert experience for everyone around her, though, she spent the second half of the show intermittently raising her freakishly long tentacle arms above her head and clapping OUT OF TIME with the music in a motion that spanned the chair widths on either side of her. Still, I managed not to rip her tentacle arms off and beat her with them.

my view of the stage when Tentacle Arms stood up for the first half of "16 Military Wives"And then. The first cords of "16 Military Wives" started up and she...stood up and dancing like a brain damaged jellyfish. She is clearly blocking my view and is the only person in our entire section standing up**, and the entire time, I'm wondering to myself why she isn't bleeding to death from the daggers I have stared into her back.

**I love dancing at a concert as much as anyone, but when it's a seated venue, you expect that you're going to spend at least part of the concert with your butt in the seat. Sure, you'll be rocking out, but unless most of the crowd stands up, you do your rocking out WITH YOUR BUTT IN THE SEAT.

She did finally get the hint that the rest of the section (or balcony or crowd, for that matter) wasn't going to take her lead and she sat down. But there was a moment, right when they were getting going on "Mariner's Revenge", when she acted like she was going to stand up again and I said, "Stay down". I don't think she heard me, but I was ready to pitch a hissy if she made any motion to stand up. Because if she had in any way blocked my view of the stage during the song I've been waiting literally years to see live? Oh yes, there would have been a throwdown. Thankfully, she kept her inconsiderate ass in her seat and her tentacle arms mostly in check and no one had to die.

lunch, black strawberries

  • panko-breaded chicken breast, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks
  • Bosc pear, with dried cherries and cashews as gap fillers
  • yogurt-covered raisins

Set list:

  • California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade
  • Calamity Song
  • Rox in the Box
  • Los Angeles, I'm Yours
  • The Crane Wife 3
  • The Sporting Life (with a bit of "This Charming Man" by The Smiths, which I had to look up because I couldn't remember where it was from)
  • January Hymn
  • Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
  • The Rake's Song
  • Don't Carry It All
  • Down By The Water
  • Rise to Me
  • 16 Military Wives (with an audience participation bit from "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers)
  • This Is Why We Fight

1st Encore:

  • Red Right Ankle (acoustic with Colin Meloy and Jenny Conlee for the keyboard bit)
  • The Mariner's Revenge Song

2nd Encore:

  • June Hymn

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