Arcade Fire Vinyl and Cocktails is a site that pairs good music with good…
- Posted on Sep 12th 2010 11:00AM by Garin Pirnia
On opener 'The Infanta,' the quintet charged the stage with galloping drums, an organ and various other instruments as lamps illuminated the darkening stage. A few songs into their 90-minute set, Meloy mentioned they'd just recorded a new record and were in the process of mixing it. He strapped on his harmonica and played the countrified, whiskey-soaked ballad 'Rise to Me,' then followed it with another newbie, the folky 'Down by the Water.' During the encore, the band played 'June Hymns,' which Meloy said was an ode to summer fading away.
The ever loquacious Meloy bantered with the crowd and his fellow bandmates: "It's nice to see all of your faces silhouetted against the light of the Nordstrom sign," he quipped to the crowd. Later on, he prefaced 'The Rake Song' with, "It's such a lovely evening. We'd like to perform a song about infanticide."
For the rest of the set, the Decemberists stuck to some of their sea shanties like 'Billy Liar,' 'Sixteen Military Wives,' 'The Island: Come and See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel the Drowning,' 'The Engine Driver' and what Meloy referred to as "our Latin gang warfare material," 'O Valencia!'
The night featured a special guest during 'Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)' when opener Laura Veirs joined the band onstage for a duet. Near the end of the set, Meloy traded his acoustic guitar for an electric one on the rock-fueled 'Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)' from last year's 'The Hazards of Love,' which incited Meloy to pogo around stage and the audience to bob their heads.
When the band wrapped their set with 'Sons and Daughters' from 'The Crane Wife,' Meloy engaged the crowd in a singalong to the refrain. "Don't just sing the refrain; take it to heart," he earnestly told the crowd. "I hope the sentiment of this refrain stays with you as this day ends. I don't need to remind you what day it is," he said paying tribute to the ninth anniversary of 9/11. Then, the Decemberists and thousands of Portlanders chimed in unison and sang the optimistic refrain, "Here all the bombs fade away."