Death Cab For Cutie

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Band Summary

Average User Rating 9.48
Total Reviews 1
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Venue/Date: Orpheum Theatre (Phoenix, AZ)
Concert Date:  
November 5th, 2005
Reviewer: aceshooter

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      Set and Lighting Design (SLD)  
      The Finish/Encore  

Death Cab delivers amazing show

Michael Senft
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, Plans, 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 of What? from its 1999 debut Something About Airplanes, and a magnificent Title Track, from 2000's We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes.

While Gibbard mainly handled rhythm guitar, he also stepped back to play keyboards on several tunes, most notably on Different Names for the Same Thing, 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 from Transatlanticism 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 concert.


Marching Bands of Manhattan
The New Year
A Movie Script Ending
Title and Registration
Soul Meets Body
Summer Skin
President of What?
Different Names for the Same Thing
Title Track
Company Calls Epilogue
What Sarah Said
We Laugh Indoors
Sound of Settling


Follow You in the Dark
Tiny Vessels

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