Back in March, my gal-pal “M” and I caught The Decemberists at Paradiso in Amsterdam. It’s an amazing music venue, probably my favorite on the planet, housed inside an old church.
Stained glass windows still hang over the stage, the acoustics are great and the vibe in there can described as some combination of the phrases “a warm blankie blessed by Jesus himself” and “totally flippin’ rad.” The Rolling Stones, The Arcade Fire, Nirvana and others have filmed or recorded shows at the Paradiso.
The Decemberists played a great set and, afterward, M was determined to chat with the band. Like a couple of googly-eyed fanboys, we hung out by their tour bus, bouncing in place to keep warm on a cool, late winter night.
Lead singer Colin Meloy popped out of the side entrance totting a guitar and came over for a quick conversation. He posed for a photo and we talked about Amsterdam and Portland, my hometown, and Meloy’s port-of-call. He admitted that, while on tour, the band has only managed to investigate the blocks immediately surrounding Paradiso. “Amsterdam seems like it would be an interesting place to raise a kid,” he said with a chuckle.
I was gathering material for a review in Unfold Magazine and the singer accepted my challenge to come up with a haiku on the spot. Here it is:
smells of sweet flowers