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    So How Was That Decemberists Kids Show?

    YouWhoLiveLogo.jpgLast month I mentioned how the Decemberists were going to kick off a new music/variety series for kids in Portland, Oregon called You Who. Well, a Zooglobble reader was there and sent in these impressions (along with a couple pictures)...

    It was a true Portland-style, weird and wacky blockbuster event, as expected. Mostly it was very well planned and exciting. Some things could make it more kid-friendly. The house lighting was dim even before the show started, which made no sense and could be dangerous if you're trying to locate your kids. Also, there were just too many opening acts: animation, a puppet show that no one could really see or hear, a storyteller/humorist who was only funny to a few of the adults, and two opening bands including a pretty funny Arctic themed one singing about love "when the ice worms return" - plus the two hip and lovable owl characters "You" and "Who" plus the emcee leading sing alongs of the Hokey Pokey and "My Monster Lies Over the Ocean" plus the Halloween theming. About an hour into it, the Decemberists came onstage with the opening song, "Angel, Won't You Call Me?" and all of the adults in the crowd went wild. Many of the kids were dancing, too...

    To me, it looked like the parents had a much better time than most of the kids (average age was a bit over 2). I mean, is "The Mariner's Revenge Song" really kids' material? Two teens were having a grand time in front of us, and Belinda and Hova from Greasy Kid Stuff later told me Georgia enjoyed it. Georgia (age 5) was disappointed that the kids' hair styling activity didn't happen as advertised, but she liked the music.

    YouWhoLiveMeloy.jpgBasically, this sounds like an elaborately thought-out "Rock N Romp" with a high-powered act and poor time management this first go-round. I expect that those kinks will be worked through (well, they better, because if you think 23-year-olds get grumpy when the main act goes on 30 minutes late, we all know how grumpy 3-year-olds get), and I appreciate what Chris Funk is trying to do (see here for his views on the series). It takes guts to tell your own fans, "eh, skip this show."

    As for the Decemberists themselves, they are not what I'd consider my first choice for a show for kids. It appears they gave it their best shot (look, wacky costumes!), but, man, a 9-minute song is, well... most kids artists would plow through 3 or 4 songs in that span of time...

    The Decemberists - "Mariner's Revenge Song" (Live @ You Who Portland [YouTube]

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