Aug 19, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie @ Enmore Theatre

Death Cab For Cutie write good songs. A simple fact. They might not be the greatest band to grace the face of the earth, but they manage to write good songs with lovely melodies, interesting arrangements and a solid dose of emotion. So, a DCFC show is guaranteed to be a fun night out. A night of singing and dancing and certainly smiling. So it proved Monday night at the Enmore Theatre. Back in Australia gain, the Seattle band played to a easily sold out venue, a testament to their growing popularity. Although it would have to be said that as their popularity grows, I believe their quality of output is diminishing. Their latest album "Narrow Stairs" is a a solid effort with some very good songs, but also a few moderate ones. I also felt the same about "Plans", which ironically has turned out to be their biggest selling release. I hate to say 'I like their old stuff better', but I certanily feel that "Transatlanticism" and "The Photo Album" remain their artistic peaks. Thankfully, this show encompassed all ends of the DCFC spectrum, so I am sure it pleased all fans. It certainly pleased this fan, not a show for the ages, but a very enjoyable night out in the company of a giving band.

Somehow I felt they would open with "Bixby Canyon Bridge", the opening and one of the better tracks off "Narrow Stairs". So it proved, giving the evening a kick start. After this solid opening, we were treated to a couple of older ones in "The New Year" and "Why You'd Want To Live Here", both going down a treat. After this we went back and forth through the DCFC catalogue. I counted six songs played off the new record, the best of which was the epic "I Will Possess Your Heart". Naturally the "Plans" songs got the biggest reception. "Crooked Teeth" was all melody and harmony, whilst "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" saw Ben Gibbard go solo on acoustic, with everyone in the venue singing along. I also liked that they pulled out a couple of very old numbers, such as "A Movie Script Ending", which was much appreciated. After closing with the superb "Marching Bands Of Manhattan", the band returned for an encore that became an ode to "Transatlanticism". No complaints here. "Expo '86" was greatness itself whilst the song that gives the album its name was epic and beautiful all at once. Then they thanked the audience, waved their good byes and disappeared into the night. Four men from Seattle, that always put on a good show. Musicians of great skill and passion. A pleasure to be with.

Set List
Bixby Canyon Bridge
The New Year
Why You'd Want To Live Here
Crooked Teeth
Long Division
Grapevine Fires
A Movie Script Ending
Company Calls
Company Calls Epilogue
Soul Meets Body
I Will Follow You Into The Dark
I Will Possess Your Heart
No Sunlight
The Sound Of Settling
Marching Bands Of Manhattan

Title Track
Title And Registration
Expo '86
Tiny Vessels


  • At August 19, 2008 , Blogger Ally said...

    at the risk of being severely ostracised, i really love plans. i think soul meets body, marching bands and someday you will be loved are great. i was happy with title & reg and tiny vessels though i wanted photobooth & prove my hypothesis... and a lack of colour, technicolor girls, more of forbidden love i guess.. rather than the new stuff. hmm you cant have it all..

  • At August 19, 2008 , Anonymous James said...

    Their earlier work is definitely better than Plans although Narrow Stairs is a step in the right direction. Plans felt like they were trying to appeal to the masses.

    I saw them on Sunday in Melbourne and the set list was fairly similar. A very good show though.

  • At August 19, 2008 , Anonymous Karen said...

    Ally - I love Plans too. I also love the older stuff but when Plans came out I loved it right away. Marching Bands is probably my favourite Death Cab song.

    The lighting was really beautiful last night and I thought the set list (and particularly the encore) was great.

  • At August 19, 2008 , Blogger Tim said...

    Narrow Stairs has some average tracks, and it was nice to see that they self-edited and left them out of the live show. I would like to have heard The Ice is Getting Thinner though.
    Company Calls into Epilogue always warms my heart and is nice that they include some older songs. It was a great show though, and yes there was LOADS of dancing, singing and finger pointing (??) where I was too.

  • At August 22, 2008 , Anonymous Ad said...

    Yeah, a great gig, really enjoyed it.

    Those older albums really stand up, hadn't listened to The Photo Album for over a year and listening to it before the gig was amazed at how consistently good it is.

    That said, I love Narrow Stairs. It gets better with every listen.


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