CONCERT REVIEW: Death Cab For Cutie


[Photo by DEREK BRAD]

Pelle.jpgBY PELLE GUNTHER Last night at the Mann Music Center, fans swooned with the irrational, hormone-driven throws of young love over Ben Gibbard’s Seattle-based, cranium-baby Death Cab for Cutie. Over the last decade, DCFC has filled airwaves, iPods and the occasional CD player with their melancholic but hopeful melodies, endlessly creating beautiful alt-rock songs. Gibbard’s tunes never fail to blast from every girl’s speakers—mine included—from pre-tweens to soccer moms. His soothing vocal texture is made to be wrapped gently around the dulcet chords of an acoustic guitar—but as his audience grows larger (to my distaste), the amount of electric instrumentation used by the band has definitely risen. So naturally, having only one song on acoustic guitar, their new release Codes and Keys hasn’t completely won my heart. However, I found it hard not to be captivated by its first single “You are a Tourist” with its Stone Roses-inspired riffing and vocal samples.

The band started the night by droning the bass line to “I Will Possess Your Heart” for an unbearably long time before giving us the satisfaction of a single lyric. It wasn’t until their haunting rendition of “Grapevine Fires” that I realized the teenage girl in me was desperately ensnared by Gibbard’s music and ragamuffin swagger. For “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, Ben sent the band off in hopes of creating an intimate experience with his badly-mixed acoustic and his overly excited crowd. The fans were a little bit too psyched to be seeing their idol in person, erupting into waves of disruptive screaming at the least opportune moments. At one point the screaming got so bad, Gibbard just droned a single guitar note, waiting for the noise to subside enough to give the chorus space. After this Ben told the audience that he had to remove his highly uncomfortable shoes and rock it in his socks. It was a beautifully endearing gesture, made even better when his fans offered their own shoes for him to wear.

Through the show I found myself most moved by his older tunes, namely the ocean of charming musical textures that is Transatlanticism, which Gibbard thankfully played a large amount of. One of the highlights of the night was their rendition of “We Looked Like Giants”, which turned into a two drum set face off between Gibbard and their drummer Jason McGerr, erupting into a furious tirade of rhythm-driven riffing. If that wasn’t the high point of the night, I’d have to nominate their closing song, the hauntingly beautiful “Transatlanticism,” whose dying chords left me somehow both gloomy and uplifted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *