Death Cab For Cutie deliver at the Pavilion

A review of Death Cab For Cutie at the Bank of America Pavilion on August 1, 2011

, Managing Editor

Death Cab for Cutie has always been a band fit for a club. Their deeply emotional songs just seem to go hand-in-hand with a dark, packed room of forlorn teens and twenty-somethings. However, as could possibly be occurring with many of their longtime fans, the band is getting older and starting to see the lighter side of things.

Since reuniting after a year and a half long hiatus the Seattle quartet has put together their cheeriest album to date, Codes and Keys, making a grand stage like the Bank of America Pavilion a perfect place for the group to share their newfound exuberance.

Not only does the new album seem happier, but Death Cab certainly seem happy with it, as they played more than half of Codes during Monday night’s show. However, the set was perfectly balanced in regards to not only old and new tunes, but also slow and up-tempo numbers. Although, the band’s recent mood swing has been a hot topic since their latest release, they showed right from the start that they’re still all over the emotional spectrum with the haunting “I Will Possess Your Heart” kicking off the performance. The band picked things up with “Crooked Teeth” as fans’ heads bobbed like buoys and again shortly after as they segued the first new tune of the night, “Doors Unlocked and Open”, into “Long Division” with drummer Jason McGerr providing the bridge between with his hi-hat.

Death Cab delivered the high energy stretches needed to keep an audience when playing a venue like the Pavilion, such as McGerr and Ben Gibbard’s double drum kit attack on “We Looked Like Giants”, but it was the intimate moments that seemed to really capture the crowd. Gibbard created one on his own as the band left him with his acoustic guitar for “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, on which the ladies of the audience strongly stepped up for on backing vocals. Another sweet instance came in the form of new track “Stay Young, Go Dancing”, with Gibbard encouraging fans to find a “waltz partner” for what sounds to be destined for the song of the Class of 2012 and many more after that (move over “Forever Young”).

“Transatlanticism” served as a fitting ending for the show that had a bit of everything. The song saw Gibbard go from playing slow piano to strumming away on his guitar as the ballad built to full-on arena rock. Death Cab For Cutie not only brought their Codes and Keys to Boston, but the perfect formula, as well.

Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit opened the show playing to a much different crowd than they’re used to at their sweaty, dancey Paradise gigs. Although the audience was modest and seated during their set, they surely made some new fans with their energetic performance, highlighted by the boogey of “Old Old Fashioned” and impressive harmonies of “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”.

1. I Will Possess Your Heart
2. Crooked Teeth
3. Why You’d Want to Live Here
4. A Movie Script Ending
5. Doors Unlocked and Open
6. Long Division
7. Grapevine Fires
8. Codes and Keys
9. What Sarah Said
10. I Will Follow You Into the Dark
11. You Are A Tourist
12. The New Year
13. Underneath the Sycamore
14. Title and Registration
15. Soul Meets Body
16. Stay Young, Go Dancing
17. Cath
18. We Looked Like Giants
19. The Sound of Settling
20. Home is a Fire
21. Expo ’86
22. Marching Bands of Manhattan
23. Transatlanticism

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  1. Pingback: Death Cab For Cutie deliver at the Pavilion | Christopher O'Hare | I Hate Me Too

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