Music » Critics' Picks

The Decemberists

8 p.m. Saturday, April 14. The Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard).

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Since releasing 2006's The Crane Wife, the Decemberists have faced a typical dilemma for rising, formerly underground bands: How do you play to larger audiences in larger halls and still make a connection? The Decemberists' response has been to increase crowd participation. By all accounts, the band's been on fire this tour: conducting sing-alongs, staging dance contests, re-enacting ancient tales, partaking in genial crowd-surfing and busting out impromptu Smiths covers. Some have faulted the group for having an overly precious approach — think Wes Anderson directing a group of high school drama-club alumni — but it's exactly this approach that has earned the Decemberists one of the most loyal, enthusiastic fanbases since Belle & Sebastian left their bedsits.

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