Saturday night heralded a sold out Wiltern Theater for the return of the Decemberists. Aided by Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), they opened with the perhaps predictable, but always satisfying "Los Angeles, I'm Yours", and once the crowd was safely in the palm of their hands, never looked back through an engaging set weighted heavily on the new LP, The King Is Dead, stripped down and tailor made for live shows.
Colin Meloy was a lively host, funning on his intros, and rueing the perception of The Hazards Of Love being too overwrought.
They capped the set with an extended 'Sixteen Military Wives' that started with Meloy grabbing an audience member's camera, and taking some shots they'll surely never forget, then devolved into a glorious singalong.
Highlights below were a beautiful take on "Grace Cathedral Hill", and a rousing version of "This Is Why We Fight".
Opening the show was the enchanting Mountain Man, three young ladies from Vermont who offered an acapella mountain music feast, occasionally adding some guitar for more color. Made The Harbor is their debut on Partisan Records.