Death Cab for Cutie – Live in Wellington
In this world of Pop Idol, auto-tune and the incessant drone of same-same R&B it’s easy to lose faith in modern music. It’s easy to fall into the depressing reality that what’s on mainstream radio sounds like shit and the ‘kids of today’ don’t know a damn thing about good music. I was getting dangerously close to becoming permanently bitter, getting a ‘Get off my Lawn’ t-shirt and investing in a quality rocking chair.
Last Wednesday night my faith was refreshed. I traveled up to Wellington for the night and saw Death Cab for Cutie live in the Town Hall. I didn’t know what to expect, it’s a small venue and Death Cab isn’t very big here in NZ. I thought that there was a chance the gig could be a dud – how wrong I was.
When I walked in I knew I was in familiar territory. Wearing a plaid shirt, heavy black rim glasses and disheveled hair I was dressed in the uniform of the night. To my surprise the crowd was mostly young hipsters in their early 20′s – not the 30-something aging alt-rock aficionados I was expecting.
It suddenly hit me – Twilight. Death Cab provided a song for the Twilight soundtrack and introduced their groovy melancholy sound to a whole new generation. What surprised me even more was that this wasn’t some Team Edward convention – though the flick might have been the gateway drug, these kids were here to see the band.
When they kicked off with the haphazard and building drone ‘I Will Posses Your Heart’ from the brilliant ‘Narrow Stairs’ the whole crowd was locked in, for all nearly nine minutes of that song there were right there in the pocket with the band. Letting the music move them, lose their teenage inhibitions and find their groove in the swaying beat.
What’s more this wasn’t like so many gigs I’ve seen over the years populated by early 20′s – there wasn’t a battalion of dunk morons trying to crowd surf, mosh to mid-tempo music or lose their shit in the most un-cool of ways. Perhaps it was the presence of so many ladies, but the crowd was incredible – one of the best I’ve seen at a show for a long time.
It was less of, ‘show me what you got’ and more of a sense of dancing your ass off, singing along to every tune, no matter how buried in an album from a decade ago and living in that live moment. Live music has the power to change people – it certainly changed me back in the day. To be there and bare witness to so many people having their first transcendent musical experience was a true honor.
The band played their role and allowed the magic to happen. Some shit movie might have been the gateway to get a bunch of fresh faces into this band, but it was this band that really opened the door for so many into a wider world.
My faith is restored. The kids are alright.
Check out this live vid for ‘We Looked like Giants’ from a few years back – they closed their main set with this one and absolutely rocked the house.