Death Cab For Cutie / June 10, 2008 / Brooklyn, NY (McCarren Park Pool)
A thunderstorm would have been an ideal companion to Death Cab For Cutie's haunting melodies at the band's Brooklyn show but the shaky light fixtures looming overhead and the increasingly frequent bolA thunderstorm would have been an ideal companion to Death Cab For Cutie's haunting melodies at the band's show on Tuesday (June 10) at Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool. However, the shaky light fixtures looming overhead and the increasingly frequent bolts of lightning forced the show to a close right before what might have been a killer encore.
The sun was still shining just after 8 p.m. when the band opened with "Bixby Canyon Bridge" from "Narrow Stairs" (Atlantic), which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 last month. A glasses-less Ben Gibbard sang calmly in his soft tenor about searching for a lost soul, but when the distortion kicked in, his voice firmed up and he stomped in time with his guitar chords. Bassist Nick Harmer and drummer Jason McGerr's synergetic beats pulsed behind him, their energy feeding off of each other.
Without acknowledging the crowd, the band burst into "The New Year" from 2003's "Transatlanticism." Multi-instrumentalist Chris Walla shook his blond hair out of his face as he chimed in with high-pitched harmonies over Gibbard's vocals.
Death Cab's set ran the gamut of its career, bouncing from 2001's "The Photo Album" ("We Laugh Indoors") to 2000's "We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes" ("Company Calls") to 2000's "Forbidden Love" EP ("Photobooth"). Only a third of the songs came from "Narrow Stairs," including the eight-minute-long "I Will Possess Your Heart," which came near the end of the set. Harmer's soothing bass riff signaled the beginning of the epic track, and fans tossed a beach ball around while the band spent the next four minutes delicately building a wall of sound before Gibbard started singing.
Gibbard's microphone cut out during "Cath ...," so he went to Walla's-which wasn't loud enough-and finally resorted to jumping onto the platforms in front of the stage to get engulfed in fans while singing into a dysfunctional microphone. Note to fans: If you attack Ben Gibbard with your hands, he will attack you right back with his sweat.
By this point, the sun had disappeared and showgoers started to keep one eye on the stage and the other on the darkening sky. Was that a camera flash or lightning?
The stage's "Narrow Stairs"' album cover backdrop rippled violently with the wind of the impending storm and the band closed out the set with "The Sound of Settling." Fans lingered near the stage and yelled for an encore, only to be cut off by one of the event's organizers, who said it was too dangerous for anyone to be on the stage. But it could have been worse. Settling for no encore was far better than having no show at all.
Here is Death Cab For Cutie's setlist:
"Bixby Canyon Bridge"
"The New Year"
"Why You'd Want to Live Here"
"A Movie Script Ending"
"Soul Meets Body"
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark"
"I Will Possess Your Heart"
"We Laugh Indoors"
"The Sound of Settling"