Death Cab For Cutie @ HQ, 4th August ’15 – Across The Ocean

Death Cab For Cutie @ HQ, 4th August ’15

Seattle indie band Death Cab For Cutie hit Adelaide for one of very few Splendour side shows proving again that when you bring the right bands to Adelaide people will come.


Even on another freezing cold wintery night in the city of churches did not deter people from coming out in numbers to see this fine band play a stellar set of greatest hit and memories as well as some new tunes off the album Kintsugi. Front man Ben Gibbard has never been entirely flattering about his views on Adelaide saying in an interview on Triple J sometime ago “why would anyone go there?”

His view must have softened as they have returned many a time since playing to sold out venues each time. It was always going to be interesting to see how the band would move on after Chris Walla’s departure last year. Well, the two new touring members really did add another dynamic to the band’s sound. Opening with the first song No Room In Frame from Kintsugi it was hard not be blown away.

It was pleasing to hear songs from albums such as Transatlantacism, Plans, Narrows Stairs, The Photo Album and We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes back when the band were at their most prolific. Hearing Crooked Teeth and Photobooth was a great flashback to the early 2000’s when these guys were on the rise. Black Sun had a mesmerizing charm to it and is one of my favourites from Kintsugi. It was hard to not feel disconnected to Gibbard who didn’t have a lot to say early in the peace letting the music do all the talking.

Their set was like a good novel, slow start, perhaps a slow burn but building in to something quite amazing. Death Cab For Cutie were musically brilliant throughout and virtually flawless with the likes of The New Year being a nod to the past with the crowd lapping it up. Love ballad You’ve Haunted Me All My Life was a major highlight as was What Sarah Said. The magic moment was Gibbard going it solo I Will Follow You Into The Dark. Gibbard thanked the crowd for twelve years even acknowledging playing this room twelve years ago as a support to Something For Kate indicating it was great that people are still coming to see his band and “it was a trip to still be alive”. The crowd got on board singing along with bit of hand clap going on as well.

The main set closed with Soul Meets Body and Marching Bands of Manhattan and by now the band looked like they just getting going. The encore was popular with plenty of greatness with the likes of Passenger Seat, Your Heart Is An Empty Room, A Movie Script Ending and the awesome Transatlantacism wrapping up a memorable night.

I kind of got the feeling that they might not be back any time soon but we can only hope.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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