The Decemberists Play Tonight at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
After pouring heart and soul into their ambitious 2009 narrative album The Hazards of Love, The Decemberists took the show on the road and performed the entire album in full. Needless to say, that can take a lot out of you. Frontman Colin Meloy said the experience was rewarding and draining all at once, but he was already considering moving in a new direction with the next album.
On The King Is Dead, we find The Decemberists gently steering away from the more indulgent jaunts inspired by English folk songs with complex lyrical schemes to a stripped-down American roots style with more acoustic arrangements. It’s a shift in focus that Meloy had been thinking about for a while now. He was interested in doing something that would be in complete contrast to the band’s previous work.
That also included much inspiration by ‘70s country rock, which led to Meloy asking Gillian Welch to contribute vocals. “Some of my favorite country-rock records had that consistent pairing with a female voice, like Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris or Neil and Nicolette Larson on Comes a Time,” Meloy explains. “We thought it’d be great if there was a female foil to my singing and Gillian was sweet enough to come on board.”
The Decemberists return to Austin for a show tonight at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River. Caitlin Rose opens the show. Gates open at 7 p.m. Don’t forget there’ll be a great aftershow featuring Austin band Deadman on Stubb’s indoor stage. Doors for that show open at 10 p.m. Recommended all around.