Death Cab For Cutie: 24 songs over 2 hours and ALL THE FEELS at Boch's Wang Theatre as they close their two-night Boston stand.
Halfway through the evening frontman Ben Gibbard introduced "Title Track". "This song is dedicated to anyone who saw us at T.T The Bear's." For over two decades this band has been coming to Boston. "We don't really need an excuse, but we do have a new album that we want to share with you," Ben said. Death Cab played most of their underrated recent full-length Thank You For Today including gentrification whinge "Gold Rush" and aging hipster lament "60 And Punk". Ben also bantered a bit with new guitarist Zac Rae, urging fans to buy five copies of opener act Charly Bliss' album before any of theirs. He's a keeper, that Ben Gibbard.
Death Cab are probably best known for contemplative indie pop. But in a live setting they shine brightest during their more sonically rough moments and I'm here for them. For example I always found Plans single "Crooked Teeth" rather wallpapery, but Gibbard and Rae locked in to distorted harmony and injected some adrenaline during the song's bridge. Likewise for Gibbard's solo on Kintsugi lead single "Black Sun", The Photo Album's classic "We Laugh Indoors", and set closer "Marching Bands Of Manhattan". Live music generally does hit harder. And for a band not known for sonic muscle the effects are warmly welcomed.
For the eyes, Death Cab paired music with super widescreen psychedelic visuals. Do you remember trying to watch scrampled premium cable channels in the days before digital converters? That's what the projection looked like. No statements, symbolism, or messages - just moody ambience.
Ben Gibbard came back on-stage alone during the encore for his solo acoustic fan fave "I Will Follow You Into The Dark", greeted by legions of mobile phones held aloft. And much like the gloomy dream-pop intro to "I Will Possess Your Heart" earlier in the evening, everyone wondered how they could possibly play those tension building sections of "Transatlanticism" any harder. We wanted them to stretch into infinity, but they have to end sometime.