Sasquatch 2015, Day 2: The Decemberists

Jacob Webb
photos by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

"I'm going to get all VH1 on you for a minute if you're okay with that, crowd of 85% shirtless men." Colin Meloy may be a bookworm at heart, but he's spent the last fifteen years learning how to be a rock frontman, and during The Decemberists' Saturday evening mainstage set, those skills were put to good use. For example, could just any frontman work a lyrical story about getting his son to eat breakfast (sample lyrics: "Hank, eat your oatmeal/Hank, eat your naan bread") into the intro of one of their bigger songs ("Calamity Song")? To be fair, not many would try such a move, but that moment was just one of many where Meloy translated a somewhat elevated idea into something relatable and maybe even anthemic. (See: 2009's The Hazards of Love) The Portland quintet (with two auxiliary members) were just that on Saturday night, playing songs from their most recent album, this year's What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. Notably, unlike their 2009 appearance, there wasn't a coitus-caused interruption to stop the Portland quintet's set this year, so for seventy five minutes, the Sasquatch veterans did what they do best: brought the audience into the never-ending folk-soundtracked, literary narrative of The Decemberists.

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