Death Cab For Cutie delivers a thing of beauty at the Big Gig
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Death Cab for Cutie has proven themselves to be one of the truly idiosyncratic talents of indie rock. Through their nearly 20 years together, they've released eight albums, four EPs, two live EPs, one live album and been nominated for a remarkable eight Grammy awards.
The group's sound is an exquisite mix of melodic lyrics and soft rhythms. A prime example of their musical style is the poignant poetic ballad "I Will Follow You into the Dark" from 2005's "Plans." They were the epitome of the early 2000's emo scene where emotionally captivating lyrics from bands such as Dashboard Confessional, Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan and various others overtook the rock genre. They're the band the high schooler in you adores – and the adult in you continues to appreciate.
However, since 2008's "Narrow Stairs," they've begun to embrace a slightly more upbeat sound while still sticking with their impassioned lyrics. Their newest album, "Kintsugi," took it to the next level with loads of guitar and fast beats rejecting their signature sound.
So where would their Summerfest set land?
Death Cab's set at the Miller Lite Oasis stage began at 10:15 p.m. with a thunderous riff from "New Year." This began the set on a good pace by increasing the sound and tempo that they impressively continued throughout a greater portion of the show. For example, they added an electric guitar solo at the end of "Marching Bands of Manhattan" and "Tranatlanticism," songs that typically lean heavily acoustic.
The rest of the set list delivered a great variety of songs spanning seven of their eight albums. Out of the 17 songs they performed, only five were from the same album ("Narrow Stairs"), which oddly enough isn't even their newest album. For "Company Calls," Gibbard had to inform the audience that it was from their prior fame 2001 album, "We Have The Facts and We're Voting Yes," proving Death Cab caters to all fans. As an older fan, I was ecstatic to be able to hear my favorites from "Plans" and "Transatlanticism" live.
Apart from the variety of tracks, vocalist Ben Gibbard was constantly bopping his head and shaking his body, bringing great energy to the performance. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Gibbard and the audience made a true connection when both collectively sang "I'll Follow You into the Dark" in its entirety. Other crowd favorites were "The Ghosts of Beverly Drive," "You Are a Tourist," "I Will Possess Your Heart" and "Soul Meets Body."
Death Cab for Cutie is a band that I would never have expected to provide such a powerful live performance from their vast majority of mellow tracks. I was glad they proved me wrong.
"The New Year"
"Why You'd Want to Live Here"
"The Ghosts of Beverly Drive"
"Brothers on a Hotel Bed"
"I Will Follow You into the Dark"
"I Will Possess Your Heart"
"You Are a Tourist"
"Doors Unlocked and Open"
"Soul Meets Body"
"Marching Bands of Manhattan"
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