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Concert Reviews, Music

Concert Review: The Decembrists @ Sony Centre

By: Curtis Sindrey –

The Decemberists

Beloved Portland-based indie rock band The Decemberists returned to Toronto’s Sony Centre on May 30th.

While the five-piece is best known for their folk-rock singalongs, the group’s new album, I’ll Be Your Girl, sees a band that has embraced New Order and Depeche Mode-influenced synths on new tracks like “Once In My Life”. What remains, at least during their live shows, is frontman Colin Meloy’s innate ability to connect with any audience, regardless of capacity. And this night was no different with Meloy leading the crowd in a beautiful crowd-led harmony during “Billy Liar”, and even having a front-row fan join in on instrumentation with a maracas-type instrument later on in the set.

One of the notable highlights during the 20-song set was when Meloy and co. played the unused Hamilton cut “Ben Franklin’s Song”, which is a delightful, expletive-laced folk-rock track that Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda enlisted The Decemberists to record after failing to implement the song into his hit musical. “He [Miranda] said he’d imagined Franklin singing in a sort of Decemberist-y way, whatever that means,” Meloy told the Toronto crowd before kicking off the song.

I’ll Be Your Girl celebrates the absurdity of life in 2018, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a band who can see the ironic humor in all of it.

Set-List
1. Everything is Awful
2. Your Ghost
3. Sucker’s Prayer
4. Make You Better
5. Cutting Stone
6. Calamity Song
7. Grace Cathedral Hill
8. Down by the Water
9. Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
10. Billy Liar
11. Star watcher
12. The Rake’s Song
13. We All Die Young
14. Severed
15. O Valencia/Dracula’s Daughter
16. Once In My Life

Encore
17. Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes
18. Ben Franklin’s Song
19. I’ll Be Your Girl

Encore 2
20. The Mariner’s Revenge Song

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