This being Lollapalooza week and all, there’s a shitload of after-parties and shows featuring bands playing smaller venues than usual, including Andrew Bird at Schubas, Band of Horses at House of Blues, TV on the Radio at Double Door and Deerhunter at Logan Square Auditorium. Out of all the shows, I’ll take The Decemberists at Metro on Thursday, a “pre-party” if you will. I’m as sick of the historical, multi-character concept-record thing as much as anybody, as for some reason with this band it’s always come off as arrogant to me, but I must admit Colin Meloy and crew do put on a stellar live show. The last time I saw the band was in incredibly disgusting humid conditions at Pritzker Pavilion, and it still was an incredible show. “The Hazards of Love” is the band’s recent record, and it’s more of the same. (“Picaresque,” from 2005, remains the band’s best achievement.) Meloy once told me he prefers the literary bent with his lyrics rather than just writing songs about girls. That’s admirable, but it wouldn’t hurt if the dude wrote a few songs about girls. The live show, though…stellar. (Tom Lynch)
The Decemberists play August 6 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark, (773)549-0203, at 9pm. $35.