Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Death Cab for Cutie @ Thanksgiving Point

Death Cab for Cutie
w/ Tegan and Sara
May 26, 2008
Thanksgiving Point

Worst. Venue. Ever. It was bad enough that Memorial Day was a rainy mess. But it was made infinitely worse when the Death Cab for Cutie show was supposed to start at 5:00 p.m. and the Thanksgiving Point crew kept the crowd standing in line outside until 7:30 p.m. (Then, as the doors finally opened, they announced that all cars parked on the frontage road—about 200 or so—would be towed if they weren’t moved.)

Starting two-and-a-half hours late and facing a 10:00 p.m. music curfew made the event feel incredibly disjointed. Identical twin duo Tegan and Sara seemed out of sync as they tried to rush through an abbreviated opening set and Rogue Wave was dropped from the bill entirely. Death Cab didn’t fare much better, though their troubles were of their own making.

Just kicking off the promotion of their newest album “Narrow Stairs,” Ben Gibbard and the boys are understandably excited about playing the material. The problem is that the new material just isn’t that good. I was hoping that the new songs, which are much less produced than their immediate predecessors, would sound better live. No such luck. Though current single “I Will Possess Your Heart” was passionate, the rest of the “Narrow Stairs” material fell flat.

The band continued through the set, alternating between not-yet-familiar new material and obscure older songs. Occassionally, they’d throw the crowd a bone with a song or two from their best albums, “Transatlanticism” and “Plans.”

Accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, Gibbard sounded amazing on “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” On “Soul Meets Body,” however, his thin tenor didn’t have enough power to do the song justice. It may have been the 40 degree air, but both he and guitarist Chris Walla struggled with the high notes all night long.

For all of the disappointments of the evening, Death Cab was not about to let the crowd go home unhappy. The encore featured “Title and Registration” and a shout out to the band’s early days of playing at Kilby Court. They closed the night with the phenomenal “Transatlanticism,” climaxing with Gibbard’s plea to “Come on, come on” reverberating through the Utah County night sky. All ill feelings were immediately washed away.

No comments: