Live Review: The Decemberists, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Philadelphia, PA, Aug. 25, 2022

Colin Meloy insisted he didn’t want to take sides in the great stand-up or sit-down debate, so the audience at The Met was all over the place: polite, rowdy and bobbing up and down with the shifting tempos. And like the set itself, which skimmed the surface of the Decemberists’ two decades’ worth of material—from 5 Songs’ “Shiny” to the new “Burial Ground”—it all worked out agreeably, with the mayhem and bloodshed limited to Meloy’s lyrics.

Highlights included “The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid” (which featured touring member Lizzy Ellison’s soaring vocals), the crunchy, synthy peevishness of “Severed” and “Down By The Water” (with that one Rickenbacker guitar riff I love).

Jake Xerxes Fussell opened with a clutch of well-received blues and folk tunes, including “The River St. John” and “Have You Ever Seen Peaches Growing On A Sweet Potato Vine?”

—M.J. Fine; photos by Chris Sikich

Jake Xerxes Fussell