Death Cab For Cutie | 10.13.2008

bengibbardcrop.jpgDeath Cab have evolved into seasoned musicians more than capable of championing a venue as great as The Fox.




The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis




It’s rare that one attends a show where the opening act is as strong as the headliner. At the Death Cab For Cutie concert, Fleet Foxes, based out of the same Seattle scene that bred Death Cab, were a force to be reckoned with during their unforgettable set. Their ethereal harmonies coupled with a wide array of instruments (mandolin, organ, guitar, bass) had a mellow mix of traditional sounds and what has been commonly termed “Seattle Sub Pop.” The vocal range of these guys was absolutely amazing – each of them alternating with taking their falsetto melodies into the stratosphere, with impeccable pitch. Their sound was all too appropriate within its setting, and the band made numerous comments on the architecture of the venue – humorously stating “Welcome to the Citizen Kane pleasure show,” at the beginning of the set.

Death Cab followed, immediately bringing the audience to its feet the moment the indie rockers took stage. Shifting from side to side, guitar in hand, Ben Gibbard flawlessly crooned through a number of tunes from their new album Narrow Stairs. Death Cab opened with a stirring performance of “Bixby Canyon Bridge” followed by a nice mix of new and old.

“Why You’d Want to Live Here” proved to show some technical difficulties with Gibbard’s guitar, but the front man toughed through the performance, despite numerous unsuccessful attempts by the sound man to revive his guitar. “Do you get do-overs at rock shows?” Gibbard asked, although the band still gave quite a successful performance despite the lack of the six-stringed instrument.

This was my first time seeing Death Cab For Cutie live. The thing that struck me most was the immaculate tone of Gibbard’s voice. And the other band members should not go without notice. Each provided a critical element to the performance, and have evolved into seasoned musicians more than capable of championing a venue as great as The Fox.

Closing with a moving rendition of “Transatlantisism,” I doubt there was a single member of the audience that wanted the show to be over; but as they say, all good things must come to an end. And we parted with some closing words from Gibbard, “All right, this is it. We gotta kiss you goodnight.” |Sheila Shahpari

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