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Death Cab for Cutie: Visceral Love in Phoenix

Codes and Keys cover art, Death Cab For Cutie album, Codes and Keys, Death Cab for Cutie show reviewListening to “The Sound of Settling every day before class was a common occurrence for love-stricken, youthful me. And this all came full circle last night during a raucous live show at the Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix.

Death Cab for Cutie played like a band that loves what they do. Lead singer Ben Gibbard bounced around the stage, alternating between guitars, piano and the two mics set up in front of him. His voice was excellent, something that doesn’t always materialize with live music. And I do believe Chris Walla wrote me a love letter, sent through various electronic mediums to reach my ears.

Opening act Frightened Rabbit seemed to have won the crowd’s favor with their energy, but to be fair I only caught the last three songs of this band. I blame this on Seamus McCaffrey’s Irish Pub, which is but a mere five blocks from the theatre and always a good choice for pre-concert fun.

Somewhere in the middle of a Ben Gibbard/Phoenix crowd sing-along rendition of “I Will Follow You into the Dark,” it became clear that they were putting on a nearly perfect show. And it occurred to me that really amazing live music creates a moment you can truly exist within. I felt only peace and happiness as the good sounds washed over me.

Venue: Comerica Theatre The sound quality here is primo, and made the experience that much better.

Vibe:  I first noticed this during Arcade Fire, who played Comerica on April 13, and again last night: We are a laid back people, here out west. Our idea of a good concert experience is slowly swaying in place, maybe dancing if we’re outside, but mostly enjoying the good tunes. That said, it was a great atmosphere.

Moment of Awe: A ten-minute-long rendition of “Giants” was both unexpected and delightful, like most kisses.

Overheard: I noticed a man and woman being asked to leave their seats so the real man and woman who bought those seats could sit down. I found this hilarious. A+ for effort.

Set list: I Will Possess Your Heart, Crooked Teeth, We Laugh Indoors, A Movie Script Ending, Doors Unlocked and Open, Long Division, Grapevine Fires, Codes and Keys, What Sarah Said, I Will Follow You into the Dark, Title and Registration, You Are a Tourist, The New Year, Company Calls, Company Calls Epilogue, Soul Meets Body, Stay Young, Go Dancing, Cath…, We Looked Like Giants, Sound of Settling, (Encore) Photobooth, Styrofoam Plates, Transatlanticism


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