The Decemberists have long been at their best in a live setting, where they've been known to encourage dance competitions and singalongs before marching into the crowd to reenact "The Charge of the Light Brigade" — all in a hyperliterate night's work. Last year's The King Is Dead, their most focused album since 2005's Picaresque, successfully transformed the Decemberists from a theatrical, vaguely proggy folk-pop troupe into a no-shit rock'n'roll band. On March 13, Colin Meloy and the crew will bring it all together on their first live album, which documents their 2011 tour.
The scale is as grand as you might expect from the band behind a 16-minute suite based on a Japanese fable. We All Raise Our Voices to the Air (Live Songs 04.11-08.11), lands on March 13 as two discs or three vinyl records, with a track list drawn from 12 different shows and all six of the Decemberists' albums, plus 2001's Five Songs EP. Not to worry, newbies: It also includes The King Is Dead's "Down By the Water," which will face off in two categories at the upcoming Grammy Awards.
The Decemberists have raised their voices to the air in a whole bunch of places by now. Venues featured on the disc range from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and Austin's Stubb's BBQ to Seattle's Marymoor Amphitheatre and Portland's McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheatre. Those last couple of names it's hard to believe the Decemberists haven't used in a song yet.
Check out the track list below while listening to "Infanta," the Picaresque picaresque whence this assuredly vocabulary-testing set gets its name.
1. "The Infanta"
2. "Calamity Song"
3. "Rise To Me"
4. "The Soldiering Life"
5. "We Both Go Down Together"
6. "The Bagman's Gambit"
7. "Down By The Water"
8. "Leslie Ann Levine"
9. "The Rake's Song"
10. "The Crane Wife 1, 2, and 3"
2. "Billy Liar"
3. "Grace Cathedral Hill"
4. "All Arise!"
5. "Rox In The Box"
6. "June Hymn"
7. "Dracula's Daughter" > "O Valencia!"
8. "This Is Why We Fight"
9. "The Mariner's Revenge Song"
10. "I Was Meant For The Stage"