To be honest, I enjoyed My Brightest Diamond much more than The Decemberists. That may be because I am more familiar with My Brightest Diamond, but I think she was just more fun. It was her birthday today, and she threw out some little plastic horse figurines to the crowd. One went right by me, but my sloth-like reflexes kind of put me out of the running.
Shara played stuff from Bring Me The Workhorse, I don’t think she played for very long, but she had the kind of stage presence that keeps you in to what she’s doing up there. She sang “Freak Out”, which included the necessary movements to properly illustrate the imperative. Her in-place dancing while at the mic was fun to watch but then gave way to full fledged windmills on the guitar and leaps of such fervor and grace that one could only but fall in love. My Brightest Diamond gets the stamp of approval.
The Decemberists were very good technically, but were not as entertaining. I should say that the venue is not my favorite. Break for tirade. The Fillmore Auditorium is a large, “nice” venue with a big stage and pretty good sound. There are limited seats, but there is a very large pit/dancefloor that you can cozy up to 600+ other people in. With that in mind, the niceness of the venue kind of kills its appeal. It is too nice. It is too commercialized (It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know). There’s a projector that they put some commercials on (yeah, like at the movie theater) and you can text message some number with a message and they will put it up on the screen, for all to see. Apparently, this is the coolest thing to the high schoolers who were in attendance, and this entertained them for the wait up until My Brightest Diamond and the intermission. I’d much rather go to a show at the hi-dive, which is truly a dive, or a real auditorium, with real seating. Now, you may know now why I may not like The Decemberists, if only by association. Too many high-schoolers. Perhaps if I had an album it would grow on me. It just seemed very… vanilla. Like the venue, it seemed to be too commercialized and a bit too straight. No risk, no experimentation, just big sound and good musicianship. I liked the supporting musicians though. I’m being too harsh on them for their fanbase. They do not control that. Okay, okay, the songwriting is good. Lyricism is abundant.
I should probably write up the vanderslice/st. vincent show too… which I enjoyed more than this one. Too bad, because i really like Shara’s work.