I’ve never been into Death Cab For Cutie. I think it was late 1999 when I first heard them and thought that they were incredibly boring. They’re not bad. They are tight and the music doesn’t hurt to listen to. It’s just boring. I quickly wrote them off as such and from then on, I have been pretty biased any time I have heard them.
My girlfriend has been a big Death Cab fan for years so when we started becoming close friends even before we started dating, I knew that at some point this day would come. She always comes with me to see bands that she doesn’t like so it was only fair for me to go with her to see them last night in Atlantic City. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting to stay awake. I even thought about bringing a pillow. I figured that maybe I could curl up in the corner somewhere and take a nap.
I think that I can count maybe five bands that I’d like to see play for more than an hour. Death Cab is not one of them so an almost hour and forty-five minute long set was a bit much for me. A five song encore? Yup, they thought that was a good idea. I disagreed. I don’t even like encores when bands I that I do like do them. I think it’s something that, as a society, we need to come together to end. We know you’re going to come back out and play a couple more songs. You know you’re going to come back out and play a couple more songs. The “suspense” doesn’t add anything. Just stay on stage, play the songs and then we can all go home. Am I the only one that thinks a planned encore completely defeats the purpose of what the encore was originally intended to be? Go ahead, look up the definition. Nothing about it being planned. It is supposed to be because of demand. And yes, there is usually a demand, but you can’t go ahead and plan for that! But enough of that, I’m not going to hold this against Death Cab, most bands that attract more than a hundred people to their shows tend to do encores and many of the bands I love do as well. So it wouldn’t be fair to fault Death Cab. Though I will fault them for playing FIVE songs during their encore.
Now, I’m going to take a slight turn here from where you probably think the rest of this is going. And I’ll remind you that this is all very hard for me to admit. I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong about factual information, but when it comes to admitting my opinions are wrong or that maybe I changed my mind, it takes a lot for me to do this.
Last night, Death Cab wasn’t horrible. They sounded really good and very tight. The way that a band that’s been playing for over ten years should sound live. I thought the first third or so of their set was pretty boring, but then they kind of turned it around in my eyes (ears) and got a little more interesting. I mean, part of it may have just been the flashing lights and the way that sounded very full, but I was able to enjoy it much more than I thought I could…with the exception of Ben Gibbard’s ugly face and almost completely failed attempts at humorful bantor. There was one gem in his bantor though. During some song, a girl was sitting on her boyfriend’s shoulders and making silly hand motions to the song. He totally called her out and basically made fun of her to her face. That was good. The rest of his bantor, not so much.
I wouldn’t say that I liked them per se, they’re still not really my thing, but I was able to enjoy at least a portion of their set. That took a lot for me to admit.