May 27, 2008
Communist band opens for Obama
A hip rock band that features the Soviet national anthem and communist-inspired lyrics was on stage to open for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at his record-breaking Portland, Ore., rally that attracted 75,000.
The Decemberists, a Portland-based group with a large local following, also closed the May 18 event.
The Decemberists typically begin their concerts with a Russian-language recording of the USSR’s national anthem.
A YouTube video shows the Decemberists beginning an April 31, 2007, concert at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., with the anthem.
“Decemberists” refers to an uprising at Senate Square in St. Petersburg Dec. 14, 1825, when a group of Russian army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in protest as Nicholas I assumed the throne, after Czar Alexander died without an heir.