Fans will get a double dose of the Decemberists this spring when the band returns to the road on the "A Short Fazed Hovel" tour. The shows will feature a complete performance of the upcoming Capitol album "The Hazards of Love" plus a second set of back catalog tracks.
"We've only played one of these songs live, and even then, it was accidental and didn't go down very well," frontman Colin Meloy tells Billboard.com. "We were just kind of goofing around."
Because "Hazards" is structured as one continuous piece, the band is working hard to master the transitions. "For now, we have an Excel sheet, for what everyone will be playing and when they will be playing it," he says.
On the tour, My Brightest Diamond's Sharon Worden and Lavender Diamond's Becki Stark will reprise their female roles in the narrative that winds through "The Hazard of Love."
Playing the record straight through should have its advantages, as Meloy sees the piece as something that benefits from a front-to-back listen. "I think you can start to hear the recurring bits of music and how certain phrases are attributed to certain characters," he says. "But certainly, you could listen to it in whatever way that you want."
After a one-off "Hazards" show at South by Southwest next month, the tour begins May 19 in Los Angeles. The Decemberists will also play at the Bonnaroo festival in June.
Here are the Decemberists' tour dates:
March 18: Austin, Texas (Stubb's)
May 19: Los Angeles (Hollywood Palladium)
May 20: Oakland, Calif. (Fox Theater)
May 21: Portland, Ore. (McDonald Theatre)
May 24: Missoula, Mont. (Wilma Theatre)
May 26: Denver (Fillmore)
May 27: Kansas City, Mo. (Uptown Theatre)
May 29: Milwaukee (Riverside Theatre)
May 31: St. Louis (The Pageant)
June 1: Columbus, Oh. (Lifestyles Communities Pavilion)
June 3: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
June 4: Raleigh, N.C. (Memorial Auditorium)
June 5: Richmond, Va. (The National)
June 6: Upper Darby, Pa. (Tower Theatre)
June 9: Boston (Bank of America Pavilion)
June 10: New York (Radio City Music Hall)
June 11-14: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo)