Remember the barista at the college-row coffee house who somehow managed to work into every conversation that hed read Infinite Jest twice? He formed a band, and its called The Decemberists. But we caught Colin Meloy & Co. a few years ago at the Exit/In on their first stop in Nashvilleand instead of a sequoia groves worth of twee, we got indie rocks answer to the E Street Band. (Take that, Arcade Fire.) Leaps off the speakers, full-band cross-stage lunges, displays of epic theatricalityit was easily one of the best shows that year, and that was even before the band somehow convinced the capacity crowd to lie on the floor (the floor! the filthy, sticky, ankle-deep-in-beer, worst-toilet-in-Scotland Exit/In floor!) for an impromptu Hava Negila. Their latest, The Hazards of Love, essentially an operetta about lovers beset by an evil queen and her minion, is more somber and less precocious than previous outings, but it should benefit from live performance; lets hope they still find room in the set for that interactive swallowed-by-a-whale yarn. Arrive early for Portlands Laura Veirs, who released two albums of cool-surfaced, ringtone-ready pop on Nonesuch strongly recommended to fans of Feist and Zooey Deschanel. She launches her own label in January with a new album, July Flame.
Sun., Sept. 27, 8 p.m., 2009