Death Cab delivers amazing show
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 9, 2005 09:53 AM
If you didn't catch Death Cab for Cutie's packed show at the Marquee on
Tuesday, you may have missed your chance to catch the band in such an intimate
setting. These Seattle-based indie-rockers are destined for arenas. And soon.
The group is currently riding high from its successful major label debut,
, which hit stores in September, as well as regular name-dropping
on The O.C.
Add in plenty of critical acclaim and you've got a potent
recipe for success.
Or you could just ask the legions of screaming teenagers at Thursday's show,
who treated singer Ben Gibbard as if he was Paul McCartney at Shea Stadium.
Montreal's Stars opened the show, playing to a surprisingly full theatre for a
support act. With a stage full of diverse musicians, including a violinist and
trumpeter, the band created an unusual sound, unfortunately they were damned
by a horrible mix which turned everything into a boomy sludge. Pity, the
band's songs seemed like an interesting mix of the Polyphonic Spree and the
Arcade Fire. It was obvious that they would sound better on CD, however, and
should not be faulted too much for the poor sound mix.
But Death Cab were the stars of the evening. Taking the stage to Marching
Bands of Manhattan
, the opening track from Plans
, the quartet
delivered 90 minutes of gut-wrenching emo-pop.
Plans and its two predecessors, the 2003 breakthrough Transatlanticism and
2001's Photo Album
formed the bulk of the set, but Death Cab did delve
into its back catalog for several fan faves, including a riveting President
from its 1999 debut Something About Airplanes
, and a
magnificent Title Track
, from 2000's We Have the Facts and We're
While Gibbard mainly handled rhythm guitar, he also stepped back to play
keyboards on several tunes, most notably on Different Names for the Same
, from Plans
. He even dabbled with electronic drums on the
recent single Soul Meets Body
The older material drew a sharp contrast from Death Cab's recent waxings.
While the newer material is plaintive chamber pop with a strong Brian Wilson
influence, the older tunes were more raucous and dissonant.
They also drew a contrast between the audience members. The younger fans
screamed for current tracks like the infectious Summer Skin
, while the
older fans cheered and sang along with early tunes like Amputations
But they all joined together on the encores, singing as Gibbard played I
Will Follow You in the Dark
, a lovely acoustic number which is either
sweetly romantic or downright creepy, depending on your mood. The title track
closed the show, an epic which built from a quiet
piano-driven piece into a cacophony of guitar underpinning Gibbard (and the
audience) crooning "I need you so much closer." Death Cab even brought the
members of Stars onstage to add some background vocals. The song was a
majestic end to an amazing musical evening.
There didn't seem to be too much trouble at the doors, despite the long lines
and annoying shoe searches. Even the Marquee's security couldn't mar a magical
Marching Bands of Manhattan
The New Year
A Movie Script Ending
Title and Registration
Soul Meets Body
President of What?
Different Names for the Same Thing
Company Calls Epilogue
What Sarah Said
We Laugh Indoors
Sound of Settling
Follow You in the Dark