FotoFlexer_DecemberistsColin Meloy is not Victorian, he just plays one on stage as he and his band, the Decemberists, played his rock opera, “The Hazards of Love” from beginning to end uninterrupted. What started out as a possible Broadway musical, became the band’s 3rd major label album. A story that may or may not include references to the Dukes of Hazard (the Queen?, The Rake?, hello!!!), the plot loosely involves shape-shifting, a vengeful woodland witch and infanticide. Sounds like a fun night of theater, indeed.

The band did not disappoint. From the opening prelude to the final folk-rock strum everything was as tight as the proverbial drum. Meloy, in his Mr. Darcy finery, did an excellent job of leading the lads and lasses along in the performance. However, it was the guest vocalists who stole the show. First came Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond as Margaret, the fated lover, dressed in flowing wood nymph attire. Then came the powerhouse vocals of Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond as the Queen. She nearly blew the fop Meloy off the stage.

After a brief intermission, the band returned to play the “hits” from all of their previous records. Meloy proved to be a little chatty as he set up some songs with unnecessary references to our little hamlet. I think at one point I even yelled, “If I wanted to hear Dave Eggers I’d stay home and listen to the voices in my head!” Still, it was a great show of baroque, chamber, folk and prog rock wrapped up in a tidy bow purchased at Herrod’s.

As a bonus, Stark and Worden did an impressive rendition of the Heart classic “Crazy on You.” I’ve gone on record before declaring Heart as the first Alternative music group. Check and mate, mates.

Not sure why, but the Heartless Bastards opened with an exuberant set of straight forward rock. They have become the go-to opening act for fabled Indie bands.

Finally, R.I.P. to Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, a champion of underdogs everywhere. The lion of the senate succumbed to brain cancer at the old-by-Kennedy standards age of 77. He shall be missed. I know I am not alone (because I discussed this with famed pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht) that something always bugged me about the Chappaquidick story. I will always believe that one of Ted’s tires had been shot out by an assassination attempt. By the way, Dr. Wecht didn’t agree with me on that point, but he did agree that there was a cover up. I guess we’ll never know.