The Decemberists Visit The Smith

“In the Hall of the Mountain King”, an orchestral piece written in 1875, tells the story of the dream-like fantasy of the title character standing in front the Mountain King with a great crowd of trolls, gnommes, and goblins. Then there is a tremendous uproar in the hall as the first lines are sung. “Slay him! The Christian man’s son has seduced the fairest maid of the Mountain King! Slay him! Slay him!”

The recorded song blasted from the 21-inch woofers Monday night at the Smith Opera House which opened just 19-years after the “In the Hall of the Mountain King” was written. Then there was an uproar as Colin Meloy and the Decemberists stepped up on their throne and blasted out “Everything is Awful” from their new release “I’ll Be Your Girl.”

Collin Meloy
I met Colin walking down Exchange Street.

The Portland, Oregon indie rock band has been around for 20 years and like any opera, their shows include politics and participation. Meloy sings about ‘that crashing sound” the sound of “everything is awful, everything is breaking down.” Ad-libbing “There’s white supermacist in the White House” and then pointing the microphone towards the nearly sold out crowd saying “Your being made to sing on the very first song of the concert.” And so it began two hours and 22-songs, from the band you never heard of, with sometimes flowery lyrics, lots of times dark, gothic-like lyrics.

New songs came quick “Your Ghost”, “Sucker’s Prayer” and the melodic “Cutting Stone.” Old favorites included “Grace Cathedral Hill”, “Yankeee Bayonet (I will Be Home Then)”, and the international intrigue story of “The Bagman’s Gambit.”

Photos by Jan Regan Photography-


My favorites were “Rox in a Box” when they slipped in a verse from “Blackleg Miner” then finshed again with “Rox in a Box.
Also it’s odd to like a song about infanticide, but always a crowd favorite “The Rake’s Song” from the rock opera “The Hazzards of Love” had five of the seven band members banging drums adding extra horror to the song’s dark lyrics.

More new songs including the synth-driven “Severed”, “Once In My Life” and the sing-a-long “We All Die Young.”

Add in the stars on the ceiling of the Smith, the great light show, the bands matching embroidered outfits, a floating whale ballon, and the giant skull with spinning X-ray eyes, it all made for a great show for all of us trolls, gnommes, and goblins.

Set List:

In the Hall of the Mountain King (recorded)

Everything is Awful
Your Ghost
Sucker’s Prayer
Make You Better
Cutting Stone
Grace Cathedral Hill
Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)
The Bagman’s Gambit
Rox In The Box>Blackleg Miner>Rox In The Box
The Bandit Queen
Down by the Water
The Rake’s Song
We All Die Young
O Valencia!
Once in my Life
(Encore) Rusalka, Rusalka / Wild Rushes
Ben Franklin’s Song
I’ll Be Your Girl
The Mariner’s Revenge Song

-Greg Cotterill 4/25/18


Decemberists Show Live from St. Paul

Just over two weeks before they visit Geneva for a show at the Smith Opera House, the Decemberists offered a live webcast of their 2nd show of the tour Saturday night, 4/7/18.



Portland, Ore., based the Decemberists released their eighth full-length studio album, titled I’ll Be Your Girl, on March 16, 2018.

Some Decemberists Tickets Remain For Smith Show

GENEVA, NY — Limited tickets are still available for The Decemberists, the Portland, Ore. band that will perform at the Smith Opera House at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23. The performance is part of the indie rock band’s Your Girl/Your Ghost 2018 World Tour. Tennis, another indie rock band from Denver, will open. Doors open at 7 p.m.

With a their just released eighth album, “I’ll Be Your Girl,” lead vocalist and guitarist Colin Meloy, guitarist Chris Funk, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, bassist Nate Query, and drummer John Moen—explore new approaches to making music and broaden their sonic range. It’s the group’s follow-up to 2015’s “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World” (which charted in the Top Ten and included the #1 AAA single “Make You Better”).

A limited number of advance tickets remain in the $42.50 and $52.50 price levels. (There is a $4.50 service fee for all tickets.) Tickets can be purchased by phone or in person through the Smith Box Office.

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 315-781-5483 during box office hours or visit

DJ Profiles — Kelly & Quinn

Meet our radical DJs, Quinn Cullum and Kelly Kenlon!

What are they studying?

Quinn is a double major in English and Media & Society with a minor in Writing Colleagues.
Kelly is an English major and Media & Society minor. She is also on the WHWS staff as our wonderful Videographer, Social Media Promoter, and mastermind behind WHWS Listens!

Where are they from?

Quinn hails from the land of Wayzata in Minnesota, and Kelly is from good ol’ Manhasset, New York.

What class year are they?

Both William Smith women are seniors and will graduate this year, in May 2018!!

Astrological Signs???

Quinn is an energetic Libra, friendly to all!
Kelly is surprisingly a Scorpio, calm and quite dedicated.

When’s their show, and what’s it called?

Their show is Mondays @ 8pm and it’s called “Second Dinner.”

Kelly also has her own show called “Peanut Butter Kelly Time,” which airs Wednesdays @ 8pm!

What’s their show all about?

Kelly described their show “Second Dinner” as “Quinn and I telling awful stories from our weekend that probably should not be broadcasted :)”

As for her other show, Kelly said that “PBKT can and will always be … me talking to myself in the back of Scandling whilst occasionally playing some (clean) Chance the Rapper.”

What would they have written on their tombstones?

Quinn: “Come all without, come all within, you’ll not see nothin'”
Kelly: “it’s been super real guys”

What 1 artist would they each listen to for the rest of eternity?

Quinn chose Atmosphere, while Kelly said that “it’s a three way tie between Chance the rapper, Cher, and Billy Joel.”
Favorite planet??
Both: Pluto (“It’s definitely the cutest and it reminds me of the moon” -Kelly)


Cam’s or Mark’s? 🍕🍕🍕

Both: Cam’s (“Obviously Cams. Drunk? Cams. Sober? Cams. 2am? Cams. 10am? Cams. Happy? Cams. Sad? Cams. you see the pattern here” -Kelly)