UPDATED: Everybody wins in The Decemberists’ lottery (Now with link to live recording)

The Decemberists getting ready for their lottery challenge at NYC's Terminal 5 last night. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The Decemberists getting ready for their lottery challenge at NYC's Terminal 5 last night. (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

UPDATE: Did you miss this show? Check out nyctaper’s recording here.

When the spotlight glared down on the tinsel-bedecked stage-left podium at Terminal 5 last 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.

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.

John Wesley Harding says he got a call asking him to be MC for last night's concert just hours before showtime.

John Wesley Harding says he got a call asking him to be MC for last night's concert just hours before showtime.

To be honest, I was a little iffy about this show. The Decemberists have a tried-and-true formula for most showss — play the latest album for half the evening and older material for the other half. It’s great for superfans, but it can be a bit predictable at times. But when I realized that last night’s show would break that mold — song titles were pulled from a basket, bingo-style and the band had to play them right away, with no cheating — I decided to take the plunge. I sure am glad I did. It was a unique evening, featuring 15 of the band’s songs and capped off by Mr. Blue Sky, an Electric Light Orchestra cover.

Click through to the jump for lots more photos.

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.

Marcel, meet Richard. Marcel, a front-of-house engineer, and Richard, a soundman, went crowd-surfing to a waltz from the band after a lottery ball was chosen with that command.

Marcel, meet Richard. Marcel, a front-of-house engineer, and Richard, a soundman, went crowd-surfing to a waltz from the band after a lottery ball was chosen with that command.

Colin Meloy sits behind the drum kit.

Colin Meloy sits behind the drum kit.

Colin's blue mood.

Colin's blue mood.

Colin miking the crowd.

Colin miking the crowd.

Wesley shared Chris Funks mike on the encore.

Wesley shared Chris Funks mike on the encore.

The Decemberists closing out the set.

The Decemberists closing out the set.

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3 responses to “UPDATED: Everybody wins in The Decemberists’ lottery (Now with link to live recording)

  1. So much fun last night!
    Thanks for you excellent MC work. :)
    The Balls of Diabolos FTW!

  2. Pingback: Music Download » The Decemberists & Laura Veirs w/ lotto master John Wesley Harding @ Terminal 5 in NYC - pics & setlist

  3. Pingback: nyctaper » Blog Archive » Decemberists: September 19, 2009 Terminal 5 - Flac and MP3 Downloads

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