MGMT have been doing a cover of “Voices Carry” by Til Tuesday. I’m not linking to any of the vids of it, because most of them are pretty crappy live stuff – from far back with lots of chatter from people and whatnot. In addition to that, some have labelled it as a “new song”, which unless we have time travelled to 1985 without me noticing, it is not. They do it pretty much note for note, so not super exciting or anything. Nice that they’re paying homage though.
Death Cab played at Pacific Coliseum on Thursday night. Ra Ra Riot and the New Pornographers opened. The show started exactly on time, which is so rare these days and much appreciated by old-timers like me. Ra Ra Riot did a great set, despite there not being much of a crowd there at the time. I’m pretty sure they picked up more than a few fans.
The New Pornographers are hometown heroes, so of course they were well received. Though I am a fan of their off-shoots, I have never been a huge fan of them. There was no Neko Case this night, but they were still tight as hell. Between songs, A.C. regaled the crowd with his memories of shows he had attended at Pacific Coliseum in his youth. Rod Steward and KISS were mentioned, (twice on the KISS count – both with and sans makeup,) and he seemed to be pretty stoked to be playing where he had grown up seeing acts of that calibre. It was nice. Dan Bejar looks like one of those guys that you would consider crossing the street to avoid, but he could also be one of those guys who’s so genius he just looks like you should cross the street to avoid him.
By the time Death Cab took the stage, the kids had all packed up to the front. I really don’t understand how girls go to shows with general admission floor tickets, wearing heels and carrying clutch purses. I realize this makes me sound like an old lady but seriously, what the hell happened? When I was that age, did I have no common sense or practicality? I’d like to think not. Anyhow, they opened with “The Employment Pages”, which I always find a nice opener before they break into something more upbeat. The setlist for the night was comprised of mostly newer, (Transatlanticism and beyond,) stuff which was kind of disappointing for me, being a fan from way back. Before the show, I was a bit unsure how I would feel about seeing them in such a big venue. While we were waiting for the doors to open, I had been talking about this with my friend, Rob, and telling him how the first time I saw Death Cab was at the Starfish Room with Pedro the Lion, and I was close enough to touch them. At that show, Chris flipped over a generic grey trash can to use as a stool while he played keyboards, so it was weird to see them now that they’re so huge. Funnily enough, at one point in the show Ben talked about the first time they met the New Pornographers and how it was after that show at the Starfish Room, and they accidentally drank all of their beer. It was nice that they remembered that show too.
These days, Ben comes off as more “Hollywood” in his demeanour, but this might have something to do with spending lots of time with Hollywood-types and attending the Grammys and the like. I also hear he’ll be relocating to ol’ California since he and his lady will be getting hitched. (I really hope this isn’t going to be their Yoko Ono moment.) What happened to “Why You’d Want to Live Here”? Anyhow, he’s lost so much weight, it troubles me. Even his stage movements seem “Hollywood”, if that’s something you can imagine. Nick has also lost a good deal of weight and is still sporting that fine beard, but he looks FANTASTIC. He looks like he’s taking good care of himself and probably has something pretty impressive hiding under all those black tees. Chris Walla never seems to change – always the musical genius behind the scenes, not wanting for the spotlight and just focused on making really good tunes. Even his hair doesn’t change and still effortlessly comes to a point at the front as he hangs his head forward, or sweeps to the side when his head is up. Jason, as always, is still just getting shit done right and does it with ease. I love this band as a whole and also as individuals, but I have to say that I really miss the days before they blew up and hipster TV got a hold of them. They are still fantastic and put on a wonderful live show, but I miss that intimacy.
The backdrop was one that is quite popular these days – a series of lit panels that would display various pixelated images. Some of it complemented the music well, but for the most part the show could have done without it. They closed the main set with “Marching Bands of Manhattan” and then came back and did a three-song encore, closing the show with “Transatlanticism”. This is a wonderful show closer because of the slow-build of the song in the same way that “Only in Dreams” is a great closer for Weezer shows.
Overall a good show, but I’m not a big fan of large-venues so not the highest ranked of all the Death Cab shows I have seen.