I’ve tried over a million different ways to describe seeing one of the most talented bands of the past decade perform live in a setting as beautiful as the historic Orpheum Theatre, but no descriptive word or extravagantly contructed sentence could even begin to conquer that task.

Singer/songwriter Lloyd Cole opened the show. His stunning and inspired songs about love, loss and growing older warmed up the crowd. With talent like Cole as the opener, it was no surprise the main act would also take the crowd’s breath away.

The stage and instruments were covered in roses and other various flowers as Torquil Campbell (vocals, trumpet), Amy Millan (vocals, guitar, flute), Patrick McGee (drums), Evan Cranley (bass) and Chris Seligman (keyboards) took the stage. They each took turns hurling the fresh long-stem flowers out into the audience, creating showers of petals that added to the already incredible atmosphere. At one point during the first few songs, McGee abandoned his drumsticks in exchange for two roses with which he gently played his cymbals.

As the band began “The Ghost of Genova Heights” from its recent album In Our Bedroom After the War, Campbell’s vocals haunted the audience, though he could not be seen. He soon crept onto stage wearing a jacket covered in bright white lights, making him appear as a beautifully lit ghost.

Their music is emotionally charged, intelligent and at times surreal. Their live show is an experience that will not soon be forgotten. —Alissa Simmons