photos by Tim Griffin
"@colinmeloy just asked me to MC the Decemberists show tonight in NYC. Finally, something to dress up for! I know just what to wear...." - John Wesley Harding
"When the spotlight glared down on the tinsel-bedecked stage-left podium at Terminal 5 [Saturday] night, the crowd got very excited. It could only mean that The Decemberists were about to hit the stage and get their first set of randomly selected songs to perform in an unusual lottery concert.Feathers from Friday night's Of Montreal show could still be found on the ground at Terminal 5 one night later when the Decemberists took the stage for their special Saturday night lottery event.
For those in the audience who know Wesley Stace (better known to many by his stage name of John Wesley Harding), we recognized that we were in for a rare treat -- a collision of sharp wits. And although Wes said he got the call to play MC for last night's show just hours before he went on, giving him no time to put any material together, he managed to wing it just fine...
...song titles were pulled from a basket, bingo-style and the band had to play them right away, with no cheating...
It was a superb mix of songs old and new -- one so very new that the band's mastermind, Colin Meloy, wrote it on the spot, referencing NYC Miracle on the Hudson plane crash and ending with an admission that on his first visit to New York he stole something from the Empire State Building gift shop. We also got The Tain, all 20 minutes of it." [Will You Miss Me When You're Gone]
From Terminal 5, The Decemberists embarked on their latest tour which also brought them to The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on Monday. Laura Veirs opened both NYC-area shows and is also on the tour. Terminal 5's lottery-generated setlist, and lots more pictures from the show, below...
John Wesley Harding
1. Yankee Bayonet (with Laura Veirs)
2. July, July!
3. Raincoat Song
4. Bridges & Balloons (Joanna Newsom cover)
5. From My Own True Love
6. The Bachelor and the Bride
7. Rake's Song
8. Culling of the Fold
9. Waltz (Crowd Surfing)
10. I Was Meant for the Stage
11. Crane Wife #3
13. Annan Water
14. Miracle on the Hudson (Colin Meloy Improv Song)
15. The Tain
16. Perfect Crime #2
17. Mr. Blue Sky (Electric Light Orchestra cover)