LIVE REVIEW: The Decemberists at Warfield
There is something about the people who go to shows at The Warfield that never changes. They are so unchanging, in fact, that you may never be able to tell what band is about to go on by surveying the scene. By the looks of this crowd, it could have been any other run-of-the-mill rock show and not the folk fest that was Lavender Diamond and The Decemberists.
Lavender was the opener for the night. Trying her best to friendly up the crowd, singer Rebecca Stark, in her pastel prom dress, cooed to the attendees in between songs like she ate half a blue dolphin. When she wasn’t reminding audience members how beautiful they were and that “we are all Lavender Diamond,” her mildly operatic voice just itched to remind you of a sunnier Paula Cole who finally found out where all the cowboys went. This band is just too fuzzy-wuzzy to be indoors. They belonged at Ren Fair, at a protest, anything but a dark club in the filthier part of San Francisco.
The Decemberists were well met with the audience, which is ironic since the opening song was probably their worst. This is a band whose live performance goes from a slow burn to a steady, crackling fire. At their best moments, for example, during “We Both Go Down Together,” The Decemberists painted themselves as the archetype of Folk 2006. The sound was rustic, rich and earthy but atypically dark at points. Singer Colin Meloy was absolutely charming in both performance and interaction. His storyteller vocals were reminiscent of early Beatle-era John Lennon and his banter evocative of Eddie Izzard, telling us about how he knows where to get crack in the city in case we would all like some. This is definitely a band worth watching this year.
- Review submitted by Briana Hernandez.