Okay...here goes the recollection of all my weekend adventures.
Bright and early Thursday morning, Chris and I got up and drove to the Metro. Our Decemberists-show friends had arranged for all of us to meet out front at 10am to wait in line for the show that night. It was perfect timing, for not long after we arrived, Chris Funk and Colin Meloy walk by (looking a bit bleary). We say hello and they walk down the street. Throughout the day, we see all of the Decemberists (and the Diamond girls), and my friend Erica got all of their autographs on a vinyl copy of Hazards of Love (which one of the Decemberists' roadies gave us for showing up so early). But, their were a couple of definite highlights. Shara Worden talked with us several times throughout the day, which was lovely. And Chris Funk, who walked past us several times, stopped once and when Chris asked if he was alright (he was looking a bit surly), told us he was hungover and chatted with us for awhile. One of my friends semi-forced him to accept a cupcake and told him stories about her not having herpes. He pointed at me at one point and asked "Haven't I met you a couple of times?" So, the moral of the story is that Chris Funk remembers me and that he had (and basically initiated) a conversation with us!
Chris and his cupcake
The cadre outside Metro
Now, the day was sailing along, but it was a bit doomed. I bought two tickets as soon as I could during the pre-sale through Music Today. For some reason, the only option I had was to accept Will Call tickets. I was a bit nervous about this and found out that night that I had every reason to be. Metro had a terrible, baffling, and incredibly unfair policy of opening the Will Call office at the same time as the doors. This meant that the people who were there all day, who bought tickets as soon as they could, and had no choice about their delivery options were screwed. I went to the Will Call window as soon as doors opened and watched a lady fumble around looking through tickets. She didn't find mine and told me I had to go out to the box office (which is a separate office next door to the venue). I ran out, ducked under a barricade, fell on the concrete and kind of somersaulted back on my feet, went to the box office, and was forced to deal with a nasty troll of a woman, who took her sweet time and told me I had to go back to the Will Call window. Chris and I rush back into the venue (but not before being harassed by a couple of security guards who were overzealous as well as incompetent), and find that there are no tickets, Metro employees don't communicate with each other, and end up getting my name checked off a list that was held by a different employee before we are allowed to enter. We rush up and are able to cut thought and get to the front, but we are now a bit to the right of center on a barricade (which was disappointing--it seems the Decemberists have reached a level of fame where there will always be a rail set up and we won't be able to stand against the stage). This was okay, except that when the Decemberists came on their staging was slightly different than usual (it's a small stage and they have a lot of equipment), and we were directly in front of Chris Funk's amps, which meant that we could definitely hear Chris (and at some points only Chris) throughout the set. It was a great show that began with "The Tain," included a brand new tune called "The Calamity Song," and ended with a second encore of "The Mariner's Revenge Song." All in all a great day with some great frustration in the middle.
On Friday, we drove down to Bloomington, IN to see our friend Hatch and to spend the night on our way to Indianapolis on Saturday. It was a very fun visit and it was nice to see the IU campus (Chris and I had never been to Bloomington and we both thought it was a very charming college town--complete with chipmunks!).
We arrived at the Murat around noon and met up with a couple of girls from the Decemberists' message board (one of which was sympathetic to my recent troubles there, which made me feel a lot better about that situation).
We weren't expecting to see any Decemberists during the day since the door we waited outside was on the opposite side of the building as where the tour buses were so there was no need to walk past us and also there was nothing interesting near our side of the venue. Hatch had told us about about Mass Ave., which is a street next to the Murat that is lined with interesting things, so when we got hungry, Chris and I walked up and down looking for food and surveying the area. We stopped by the front of a shop and Chris peered in to check out its wares. I meanwhile, took a map of the street from just inside the door and was looking at it for a place to get food from. Chris turns around and I hear him say, "Oh, hey Colin." Colin Meloy walked up to us and began a conversation!! He asked us if there was anything we'd like to hear at the show, and I told him that we had just been talking about how none of us (Chris and I as well as the orate girls) had ever heard the band perform "Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right." He let us know he'd try to get it on the setlist but that it was a bit of a long shot since it had been many years since they'd ever played it together. Then, he left to go check out a record store and we went and ate some Subway. Later in the day, Chris and I decided to go to the music shop to stretch our legs and check out what an Indianapolis record store has to offer. While perusing, I looked up and saw Anne Briggs (her eponymous LP) faced out. I have been meaning to listen to her since Colin is a big fan and her EP The Hazards of Love had a hand in inspiring the Decemberists' album. So, I decided this was a pretty good sign that I should buy it and did. Perhaps Colin Meloy, while shopping there earlier, had purposely put that CD on display for someone to find or perhaps it was a coincidence. We walked back and waited some more, and then we were able to get prime position (no unprofessional and incompetent employees to deal with this time) for a great show. Hazards sounded amazing and Shara kicked a couple parts up a notch by belting out some extra notes. The second set was great and included Colin talking directly to Chris and I during the show. He told us that he tried his best to get our request in and someone right behind us in the audience caught it on film. This person uploaded several videos from the show and I think that all of them feature Chris' head in the right side of the frame.
We left right after the show to begin the four hour drive home and stopped in Anderson, IN to get some fast food. Now, I've seen some strange things in my life, but was pretty taken aback by this town not too far north of Indy. Every fast food joint in town was packed, both inside (if their dining room was open) and in the drive-thru. Every single place had at least ten cars in the drive-thru lane. Apparently, there had been a concert as well as some mixed martial arts show earlier that night. We finally got home and got some rest and now we await our last Hazards show on Tuesday in Royal Oak, MI. To sum up the weekend: a couple steps closer to having the Decemberists think that we're cool.