MAB taps indie-rocker Decemberists for fall show

By Chris Ross

Indie-rock band The Decemberists will headline the 2007 fall concert held at Mandel Hall on November 17, the Major Activities Board (MAB) announced yesterday.

A five-piece band from Portland, Oregon, The Decemberists are known for their hyper-literary lyrics, experimentalism, and incorporation of folk music and fairy-tale narratives into albums.

“We decided The Decemberists were a popular group on campus—they were a top priority for us and we’re really excited to get them,” said fourth-year Julia Reeves, a talent buyer for MAB. “They were available, and we jumped on them. They responded right away and worked us into their fall tour. This is the first time ever in my four years that we’ve won our first bid.”

The Decemberists show will be closed to the public, but tickets will be available for U of C students with identification starting November 5 for $15 and on the day of the show for $20.

Laura Veirs and Saltbreakers, a quiet indie-rock band that has collaborated with The Decemberists before, will be special musical guests at the event.

“MAB expects this to be a sold-out show,” said Justin Fleming, fourth-year MAB chairperson.

After informal conversations around campus and organizing a Facebook survey asking students to rank the bands they most wanted to see, MAB determined that The Decemberists were a top choice, according to Fleming.

“I’m really excited,” said third-year Sarah Quillin. “I’m a big fan, I’ve loved them since high school.”

With the contracts secured, MAB will be finalizing technical aspects such as lighting and audio throughout the next month. MAB officials hope to send out surveys to decide on a headliner winter show, and may soon begin putting out bids for Summer Breeze.

“We’re moving toward trying to get things out earlier in terms of bids, instead of going through eight bands before getting a headliner,” added Fleming.

MAB is a student organization that brings music events to the U of C campus each quarter. In past quarters, MAB has brought Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Tweedy, and RJD2 to campus.

“I think this is what’s great about MAB,” said third-year Soraya Lambotte, marketing representative for MAB. “We had Common play this time last year and we cover a lot of ground in musical styles in that way.”

While The Decemberists will be playing two shows at the Vic Theater late in October, MAB representatives stressed that tickets to the Mandel Hall concert will be sold at a fraction of the price and the setting will be more student-friendly and intimate.