Monday, September 28, 2009

The Decemberists, Laura Veirs & The Hall Of Flames

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Saturday night, Missy and I had tickets to go see THE DECEMBERISTS performing with LAURA VEIRS & THE HALL OF FLAMES at the CLASSIC CENTER in downtown Athens. The concert was the same night as the big UGA football game and we knew that the parking and traffic situation was going to suck. Our plan was to park across the street from The Grit, have dinner there, then walk several short blocks to the venue. By the time we were done eating, the light rain turned into a heavy downpour, with the wind blowing raindrops sideways. On the way there, we delighted in watching the tailgating football fans dealing with the rain. As we hurried to our destination we passed by the mysterious FUR BUS. Was it all furry inside? We imagined all these soaking wet football fans sitting inside of it, and all this wet fur...

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We picked up our tickets at will call and somehow, we were able to get into the Classic Center early. One of the promoters saw us and asked, "How did you guys get in?" We told him that we just came in through one of the doors, which I guess was supposed to be locked. Instead of kicking us out back in the rain, he actually let us stay inside to dry off, while all our fellow concert goers stood outside looking in on us. We were soaked up to our knees from our walk. Missy kicked off her Fluevogs in an effort to dry off her socks a bit...

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We saw this cool painting over by the bathrooms...

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Eventually, they started letting people into the concert hall. We made our way down to the orchestra pit and marveled at how close our seats were to the stage...

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Soon enough, Portland, Oregon's LAURA VEIRS and her backing band, THE HALL OF FLAMES, took the stage. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome they were. They had that classic "pacific northwest sound", if you know what I mean (some of you do)...

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DEC 6327 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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After Laura Veirs, they started pumping the fog machine, in preparation for THE DECEMBERISTS. They ended up putting on a hell of a show, performing their entire "rock opera", THE HAZARDS OF LOVE, front to back, with no break in between songs...

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The Decemberists were joined by BECKY STARK, of the L.A. band LAVENDER DIAMOND, and SHARA WORDEN, of the band MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND. Becky played the part of the protagonist's "angelic wife". Dressed in a white gown, she looked every bit the part...and she looked a bit like PRINCESS LEIA...

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DEC 6349 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

Shara played the part of "the temptress" or "the devil" and you could tell she relished playing the part. She definitely stole the show with her powerful singing and stage theatrics...

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DEC 6350 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

DEC 6358 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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Band leader, COLIN MELOY, sported mutton chops, successfully blending in with the local townie hipsters...he told the audience this really convoluted story about how the worse song he ever wrote caused the formation of legendary Athens band, R.E.M...

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One of the highlights of the night came when they performed a rousing rendition of HEART's epic "Crazy On You", with Becky and Shara taking on the roles of sisters Ann and Nancy was the 70's cherry on top of a wonderfully theatrical night of prog rock...

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DEC 6391 from Raoul de la Cruz on Vimeo.

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