The Decemberists

ACL Live Shots

The Decemberists

Oct. 3, Zilker Park

The Decemberists stood in the misty October rain and with orchestral grace bestowed upon Austin its second performance this year of The Hazards of Love. The überliterate folk-rock quintet from Portland, Ore., presented its tour de force at South by Southwest in March, but a summer of touring made its presentation a seamless, enthralling production. The story's inherent drama and head Decemberist Colin Meloy's love of wordplay ("the prettiest whistles won't wrestle the thistles undone") suited the night-darkened sky, backlit on the stage in jewel tones. His faux-Brit accenting fit the tale's narrative as Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond sang with sweet soprano the role of the hapless maiden Margaret. More compelling was Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, singing the Queen. Her confident alto elicited a roar from the crowd as she damned the hero with a mighty "Consider the debt repaid!" All but Meloy thundered on percussion during "The Rake's Song," the closest The Hazards of Love comes to radio-friendly. What more could anyone want? Well, maybe the full concert performance, the kind of show that delivers not only the complete The Hazards of Love but dream encores like Stark and Worden's take on Heart's "Crazy on You." That didn't happen, but for ACL Fest, the Decemberists provided a crowning achievement nevertheless.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More the Decemberists
Phases & Stages
The Decemberists
What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Record Review)

Michael Toland, April 10, 2015

Phases & Stages
The Decemberists
The King Is Dead (Record Review)

Margaret Moser, Jan. 28, 2011

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


the Decemberists

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle