Concert 20160528 Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie

Relevant Links:
Death Cab for Cutie at BottleRock 2016 (
Death Cab for Cutie Website
Death Cab for Cutie (

Pre-Festival Thoughts:
I wanted to first see Death Cab for Cutie at Life is Beautiful 2015, but the little bits of planning fell through and I never bought a ticket to go. Then, because I took for granted how many acts I would have enjoyed seeing, I was filled with a little bit of regret (or not buying a ticket).

As such, when I first heard there was a music festival in Napa, and that Death Cab for Cutie was part of the lineup, I didn't think twice about buying a ticket.

Kintsugi (2015)
Excellent: Little Wanderer {2};
Above Average: Black Sun; You've Haunted Me All My Life;
Slightly Above Average: No Room in Frame; The Ghosts of Beverly Drive; Ingenue;

On the Fence: Hold No Guns; Good Help (Is So Hard To Find); El Dorado;
Slightly Below Average: Binary Sea;

Transatlanticism Demos (2013)
Excellent: The Sound of Settling (Demo) {4};
Above Average: The New Year (Demo); Title And Registration (Demo) [I like the sound of the acoustic guitar]; Tiny Vessel (Demo) [Wow, I saw the lyrics today and it became apparent this song was quite dark]
Slightly Above Average: Lightness (Demo) [Huh, does the album version also have this beatbox repeating?]; A Lack of Color (Demo);

On the Fence: Expo '86 (Demo); Transatlanticism (Demo) [Wow, this song is so simple. Really?]; Passenger Seat (Demo) [While this song has nice lyrics, I'm less fond of the lyrics in combination with the piano]; Death of an Interior Decorator (Demo); We Looked Like Giants (Demo);

Codes and Keys (2011)
Excellent: You Are A Tourist {2} [I love the echo on the vocals and the repeating riff];
Above Average: Some Boys [A fairly sad love song]; Stay Young, Go Dancing;

Slightly Above Average: Home is a Fire [Hmm... the beginning is a bit too dragged out for me]; Codes and Keys; Underneath The Sycamore; St. Peter's Cathedral;
On the Fence: Doors Unlocked and Open; Monday Morning; Portable Television;
Slightly Below Average: Unobstructed Views;

Narrow Stairs (2008)
Excellent: I Will Possess Your Heart {3} [I like the build-up]; You Can Do Better Than Me {3} [Great song, though also a bit sad]

Above Average: No Sunlight; Grapevine Fires; Your New Twin Sized Bed; Long Division [perhaps I should like this more... simply 'cause I'm a mathematician, haha]
Slightly Above Average: Bixby Canyon Bridge; Cath...; Talking Bird; Pity and Fear; The Ice is Getting Thinner;

Plans (2005)*
Excellent: Marching Bands of Manhattan {3}; Soul Meets Body {2}, I Will Follow You Into the Dark {infinity} [My most favorite song, ever]; Someday You Will Be Loved {2} [A sad love song]; Crooked Teeth {2} [It has a great flow. Great lyrics. Another sad love song]; What Sarah Said {3} [Amazing lyrics. "'Love is watching someone die.'"];

Above Average: Different Names for the Same Thing; Your Heart Is An Empty Room;
Slightly Above Average: Summer Skin; Brothers on a Hotel Bed;

[20160421] Though I would happily continue listening and relistening to all of Death Cab for Cutie's music, I decided to temporarily move on.

April 1, 2016 Setlist: (according to above)
Excellent: Crooked Teeth {2}; Little Wanderer {2}; What Sarah Said {3}; I Will Possess Your Heart {3}; You Are a Tourist {2}; Soul Meets Body {2};

Above Average: The New Year; Black Sun; Title and Registration; No Sunlight;
Slightly Above Average: The Ghosts of Beverly Drive; Cath...;
On the Fence: Transatlanticism;
Uncategorized: No Room in Frame; Why I'm Lonely (Harvey Danger cover);

*Probably my favorite Death Cab for Cutie Album.

1) The New Year [E2]

2) Crooked Teeth [E3]
3) Why You'd Want to Live Here [SAA]
4) Black Sun [E2]
-- up to this point, I noticed that Gibbard had changed his guitar between every song and before Black Sun, almost all the members changed their instruments; I had then decided I would only note if he didn't change his guitar/instrument
5) The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

-- the second guitar switches to an acoustic
6) Title and Registration -- Gibbard uses a shaker for part of the song
-- Gibbard keeps the guitar he was using for this next song; the pianist picks up a 12-string guitar
7) Little Wanderer [AA]
-- now the pianist picks up an electric guitar
8) A Movie Script Ending [AA]

9) What Sarah Said [E3] --- as I was listening to the lyrics, I tried to zoom ahead to get the title and nailed it
10) I Will Possess Your Heart [E4] -- the build up when watching the song performed live is much cooler than when listening to the song in my bedroom (a drawn out repetition of variations on two counts of eight, on the album it lasts four and a half minutes); Gibbard starts on guitar, and eventually makes his way to the piano, and finally finishes back on guitar

-- Gibbard keeps the same guitar he was using; the pianist is back on the 12-string guitar
11) El Dorado [SAA]
12) You Are a Tourist -- the mic on Gibbard's left has a modulator
13) Doors Unlocked and Open [SAA]
14) Cath...
-- both Gibbard and second guitarist are on acoustic guitar for this next song

15) Soul Meets Body [E5] -- crowd sings along "Bada bada ba-bah | bada ba-ba bada ba-bah | bada ba-ba bada-ba | ba da bada-bah"
16) Marching Bands of Manhanttan [E2]
17) Bixby Canyon Bridge [AA] -- the band went crazy at the end of the song: guitar shredding, guitar dragging, drums, etc. (typical in-the-moment rock band ending)

Post-Festival Thoughts:
A man at the festival said he liked the band and has seen them perform before, but that he felt some of their music was quite repetitive.

There I thought this was true for some of their songs, I had also felt their albums were different from each other and while songs within an album were somewhat alike, they were different enough to qualify being distinct.

Then again, I've also held the opinion that I like Coldplay's X&Y despite all the songs having a similar sound, so my taste and idea in music must be different than that of the man I was speaking with at the festival.

In any case, it was such a delight seeing Death Cab for Cutie perform and it was more satisfying than the time I finally got to see Jack Johnson. I was, however, a bit sad they didn't perform "I Will Follow You into the Dark." Not only is it my favorite Death Cab for Cutie song, but it's the most-played, and often most-liked song in my music library. I also have fun playing it on guitar.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was surprised when Gibbard showed himself, because he had looked so different than how I pictured him looking. Explicitly, he was much skinnier than how he looks in old concert or music videos.

Excellent: Black Sun {2}; What Sarah Said {2}; I Will Possess Your Heart {2} [After listening to it being performed live, I view this song in a new light, *]; Soul Meets Body {5}; Marching Bands of Manhattan {7} [**];
Above Average: The New Year; Crooked Teeth; The Ghosts of Beverly Drive; Title and Registration; Little Wanderer; You Are a Tourist; Dours Unlocked and Open; Bixby Canyon Bridge;
Slightly Above Average: A Movie Script Ending; Cath...;
On the Fence: Why You'd Want to Live Here; El Dorado;

*Ha! I thought I was giving it an improved rating, but in my pre-festival notes I said I liked the build-up and gave it an [E3].
**Somehow in my pre-festival notes it only got an [E3] and during the show it only got an [E2].

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