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Death Cab for Cutie at Madison Square Garden (September 12, 2015)

By Will Oliver, December 29th 2015 — with 1 comment

1_Death Cab for Cutie_Madison Square Garden

Death Cab for Cutie’s rise in popularity can best be summarized by the fact that it took them nearly 18 years and 8 albums to get to the point where they could play Madison Square Garden.

Explosions In The Sky nearly stole the whole damn show with a thunderous life-affirming opening set that sounding all too fitting in the large cavernous space that is MSG. It was an unforgettable performance, probably the best opening set that you’ll ever see at an arena, or anywhere.

It was impressive to see thousands of people fill into the Garden for Death Cab, a true testament to how hard they’ve worked over the years. Although it didn’t feel right for this seminal moment in their career to be happening with longtime member Chris Walla absent. His presence was missed, but new members Dave Depper and Zac Rae looked more comfortable fitting in with the band, especially looking back on one of their first shows playing with Death Cab back at Music Hall of Williamsburg in the beginning of the year.

There was a notable change in the air when the band played material from new record Kintsugi, while older material got the joyous response that nostalgia brings. This isn’t the same band that wrote songs like “Passenger Seat” or “Company Calls,” but it sure was great to hear this songs sung by thousands of people in unison, especially haunting during battle born weepy ballad “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” practically meant to be sung aloud in a huge arena.

The show didn’t blow me away by any means, but considering how much Death Cab for Cutie meant to the younger version of myself, I was glad to be a part of their “moment.”

Find photos of both Death Cab and Explosions In The Sky’s set posted below.
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Death Cab for Cutie – “Little Wanderer”

By Will Oliver, March 19th 2015

Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie have shared quite a bit of their new album Kintsugi, whose March 31 (via Atlantic Records) release date is just around the corner. The trio have already shared three tracks from the album (“Black Sun,” “No Room In Frame,” and “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive”). These also happened to be the first three songs on the record. They’ve kept the timeline going with the 4th track of the album being released, “Little Wanderer.”

While mostly pleasant, it’s somewhat of a come down from the previous songs, making it my least favorite of the songs released far. Maybe it will work better with the rest of the album as context. We’ll see.

Stream “Little Wanderer” below.
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Death Cab For Cutie

When I saw Death Cab for Cutie play a surprise show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in January, they played a few new cuts off their soon to be released album Kintsugi (March 31 via Atlantic Records). One of them was a song by the name of “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.”

It stood out to be because of the amount of sharp bite that it had live, while interestingly also finding ways to trickle in a more airy atmosphere with the help of some electronic influences. I was excited to see how the recorded version turned out, and I’m happy to say that they were able to capture that same live energy on the recording.

Stream “The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” below, along with “No Room In Frame,” the previously released album track. You can hear first single “Black Sun” here.
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Death Cab for Cutie at Music Hall of Williamsburg (January 28, 2015)

By Will Oliver, January 29th 2015 — with 2 comments

1_Death Cab_MHOW

It’s not every day that you get to see Death Cab for Cutie play a 550-capacity venue like Music Hall of Williamsburg. The staggering setting for such a band was put into perspective later in the night, when frontman Ben Gibbard announced that they’d be returning to New York this fall to play the much less intimate Madison Square Garden. That notion made me truly appreciate what I was witnessing, on top of the great 22-song set of Death Cab songs both old and new that spoke for itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Cab for Cutie Announce New Album: ‘Kintsugi’

By Will Oliver, January 13th 2015 — with 2 comments

Death Cab for Cutie - Kintsugi

It’s strange to think about Death Cab for Cutie without Chris Walla, the former co-founding member who officially left the group last year after playing one final show. But before he quit, he helped record the band’s next album, which is entitled Kintsugi and will be released March 31 via Atlantic Records.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, bassist Nick Harmer gave insight into the meaning of the album’s title:
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Who would’ve thought that Cut Copy would remix Death Cab For Cutie. Sounds like an odd pairing, but it doesn’t sound so odd once the magic is at work.

Cut Copy reworked Death Cab’s “Doors Unlocked and Open’. It will be on Death Cab’s upcoming release,  Keys and Codes Remix EP (November 22 via Atlantic Records).

Take a listen to the remix:

Death Cab for Cutie – Doors Unlocked And Open [Cut Copy Remix] by deathcabforcutie

Death Cab’s video for “Stay Young, Go Dancin” is sure to hit home for all you lovebirds out there. It’s what you could expect from the album closer, it’s meant to make you feel all warm and cuddly inside.

If you’re having a bad day, watch this video. Well, maybe don’t if you’re romantically frustrated (seriously).

Death Cab For Cutie @ Bowery Ballroom (June 1st, 2011)

By Will Oliver, June 2nd 2011 — with 1 comment

Any show at Bowery Ballroom is a treat. It’s the best place to see a show in New York City, without a doubt. There’s not a bad view in the house, and the sound is the best that you can get. What else could you ask for? Maybe like seeing a little old band named Death Cab For Cutie play there.

Death Cab could surely sell out much larger places, yet they decided to grace the 550 or so lucky fans at Bowery Ballroom last night. It was a special treat to see a band at their level so modestly rocking out at the tiny stage at Bowery Ballroom. They didn’t leave anything back, and I gained a ton of respect for them for just how much they gave to us last night.

Openers The Lonely Forest hail from Washington, just like Death Cab. They had that Washington sound of anthematic indie guitar rock that was enjoyable enough. Chris Walla produced their new album, Arrows. Some songs started blending in together, but there were a few songs that I found myself digging. Their lead singer had a thing for sticking his tongue out while singing. Would love to know if he notices that he does it – quite frequently.

Death Cab came on a little after 10 p.m. and finished about ten after midnight. Death Cab have become one of the more familiar names in modern rock, and are certainly big enough that they don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but themselves. They didn’t need to play for over two hours (with a very, very, brief break before the encore). They didn’t need to make a carefully crafted setlist with standouts spanning from the top to the bottom of their deep catalog. But Death Cab For Cutie don’t seem like the type of band that take things for granted. They seemed sincerely happy to be playing an intimate show, and it was refreshing to see.


What impressed me the most was how diverse their set was. They reach back to the depths of their back catalog and brought forth many of their early delights that helped make the band who they are. If you’re a fan of the band, you can’t help but smile to hear the band playing “Styrofoam Plates”, “Company Calls”, and “405”. It’s also a pleasure to hear “The Sound Of Settling”, “Cath…”, and latest single “You Are A Tourist” in the flesh. But what really did it for me was the more intimate ventures that showed incredible strength at Bowery Ballroom. “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” & “Title And Registration” were pitch perfect, and the intimate setting only played to their favor. There’s no arguing against the epic finale of “Transatlanticism” either. A few tears were probably shed somewhere in the ballroom.

If you go into a Death Cab for Cutie concert thinking it’s just a bunch of their light acoustic songs, you’re going be in for a surprise. For example, the severely under appreciated “I Will Possess Your Heart” is an absolute monster live. Last night’s performance not only proved to me that Death Cab are a pretty diverse band, but they know how bring it live. I don’t know if I can ever see them again outside of Bowery Ballroom because it just won’t be the same. But that’s alright, last night cannot be reciprocated.

Some Photos:


Check out some live videos of the show that I found on youtube, after the jump:
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