(Video and tour dates included) I was first exposed to Death Cab for Cutie through a friend some six years ago. And I didn’t like them for the exact reason why I now find them so appealing – Ben Gibbard. It was his voice that first turned me off because it was something I immediately associated with bubble gum girl rock. Thankfully, I kept an open mind.
Gibbard grew on me. His soothing, but tense and enduring tone tells a story throughout every song. It’s the kind of sound that forces your own emotions, even without knowing a single word.
Death Cab came to Chicago with two solid opening acts in Ra Ra Riot and Cold War Kids. Unfortunately, we missed Ra Ra Riot. It turns out they played for all of 20 minutes. Cold War Kids quickly followed and also played an abbreviated set. But they were good, and displayed the talent that keeps them touring.
Death Cab took to the stage in their normal, unassuming manner and broke into a tour-de-force of some of the best they have to offer. They band played free but tight through a set that included “The New Year,” “My Mirror Speaks,” “I Will Possess Your Heart,” “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” “The Sound of Settling,” and my personal favorite, “Cath.” There were few lulls, and for fans of the band, it’s hard to imagine that any of them left disappointed.
I found that after a packed set, the encore ended up in a minor disappointment. Maybe it was because I had just heard my favorite Death Cab songs and was quite satisfied, but I felt that maybe some of the earlier songs would have been better as closing material. And, as always, the Aragon Ballroom claimed another victim to its cavernous sound.
But nothing could keep this from being an early 2009 highlight show. Death Cab for Cutie has cemented their status as a premier indie-type band, and one of those music acts that sounds better live than they ever could on record.
They continue to tour this summer, and will play with some other great talents including Ra Ra Riot, Andrew Bird, The New Pornographers, Matt Costa and Tegan & Sara.
Below is a video from the show of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” And below that are upcoming tour dates.
Apr 22 2009 Mount Baker Theatre (SOLD OUT) Bellingham, Washington
Apr 24 2009 McCarthey Athletic Center Spokane, Washington
Apr 25 2009 The Morrison Center (SOLD OUT) Boise, Idaho
Apr 27 2009 Memorial Auditorium Sacramento, California
Apr 29 2009 RIMAC Arena (SOLD OUT) La Jolla, California
May 1 2009 Austin Music Hall (SOLD OUT) Ausitn, Texas
May 2 2009 Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Louisiana
May 3 2009 Ryman Auditorium Nashville, Tennessee
May 4 2009 Ryman Auditorium (SOLD OUT) Nashville, Tennessee
May 5 2009 BJCC Concert Hall Birmingham, Alabama
May 6 2009 Fox Theatre (SOLD OUT) Atlanta, Georgia
May 7 2009 Hard Rock Live (SOLD OUT) Orlando, Florida
Jul 5 2009 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, California
Jul 11 2009 Greek Theatre Berkeley Berkeley, California
Jul 13 2009 Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 14 2009 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, Colorado
Jul 16 2009 Pacific Coliseum Vancouver, British Columbia
Jul 17 2009 Edgefield Amphitheatre Troutdale
Jul 18 2009 Marymoor Park (SOLD OUT) Redmond, Washington
Jul 19 2009 Marymoor Park Redmond, Washington