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Death Cab for Cutie @ The Palace (Melbourne) with An Horse

August 18, 2008


I don’t really understand how but according to Last.fm, Death Cab for Cutie are my fourth most listened to band. I mean, I really like them and they have some fantastic songs and great albums but they aren’t the sort of band I would go around raving about. Perhaps they just have the easy listening vibe and when your not really in the mood for anything in particular you listen to Death Cab, but there are many bands I like more than them. I was still pretty keen to see these guys live so I ventured over to the Palace last night to check out my ‘fourth favourite band’ and they put on a pretty good show.

First of all was opening duo An Horse; I arrived mid set so I can’t give a comprehensive review of them; we were also wandering around while they were playing. But from the glimpse I got of them they seemed to have some nice dark pop songs that worked well with just a guy and girl gracing the stage together, guitar and drum kit in tow. Afterwards, we weasled closer to the stage to be surrounded by a crowd ranging from annoying teenage girls taking photos of themselves, drunk bogans, serious looking arty people and various other stereotypes I won’t go into. It was a varied crowd though.


Death Cab for Cutie eventually ambled onto the stage and opened with ‘Bixby Canyon Bridge’, one of the best tracks from their new album. I was pleasantly surprised by their stage presence; I was half expecting a band that would hide behind their instruments and wallow in dim lighting but my picture of them was contrasted with Ben Gibbard’s geeky front man persona and the rest of the band doing their best sort-of-dorky dance moves, not really caring how they looked. They were nice and honest and didn’t seem to be caught up in how they appeared which was pretty cool I thought. Musically they sounded pretty much like they do on record, Gibbard’s vocals were clear and as pleasant as ever and the rest of the band did an amirable job keeping things interesting. Surprisingly for me was how awesome Nicholas Harmer, bass player, was. I realised what a good job he does of making their more straightforward songs seem more excting and just plain better, he was also the most energetic dude on stage.

Another set highlight was the 8 minute ‘I Will Posses your Heart’, while I’m not the biggest fan of the very long introduction on record in a live setting it was pretty epic. Chriss Walla was free to play around on the guitar and the previously mentioned/super awesome Nicholas Harmer was flinging bass notes around like crazy until Gibbard’s vocals kicked in turning everything into a bouncy pop song. While their set was good and full of songs that like I felt like something was missing. Perhaps I was just searching for a meaningfulcore moment that wasn’t going to happen at a gig like this but their songs that should have connected with me just didn’t really do it with the exception of closing and again epic track, ‘Transatlanticism’. It was just another good gig besides a few highlights that will hopefully stay with me for a while. A good time all round though.

An Horse on Myspace

Death Cab for Cutie on Myspace

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Alexandra permalink
    August 18, 2008 10:20 pm

    Sounds like it was rather enjoyable.
    I’d have loved to have gone…sold out before I got the chance :(
    Meaningfulcore?

  2. Elyse permalink
    August 19, 2008 12:59 am

    I like the ‘meaningfulcore’ link.
    You know who has meaningful music Nick?- the Waifs.
    I really hated you being so ‘cool’ last night.

  3. Tiffane permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:25 am

    Your review isn’t good enough, because you don’t like Death Cab for Cutie enough. Probably because you’re not a girl, who would be obsessed with the super cool band members. Transatlanticism was pretty enormously epic – I’m tres glad they closed with it. But the rest of the show was pretty damn brilliant too. They played something for everyone.

    Stop validating the term meaningfulcore – it’s upsetting.

    And, Nick isn’t as good as dancing Chris. Gibbard was heaps less dorky than I expected.

    (I read your blog – oh my gosh)

  4. Nick permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:36 am

    Oh well this is awkward…

  5. Tiffane permalink
    August 19, 2008 10:47 am

    It wasn’t, but it is now.

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