There was a fancy dress change, a symbolic swap from black and gloomy to brilliant, all-white ensembles. The musical gear obtained moved round a bit, too, with synthesizers and digital beat-making gadgets introduced out for the second half.
Principally, although, the changeover from Loss of life Cab for Cutie’s set to the Postal Service’s efficiency occurred seamlessly and relatively playfully Sunday evening on the Armory.
Ben Gibbard, the singer in each bands, pulled double obligation in entrance of a sold-out crowd celebrating the 20th anniversary of two of the largest albums of his profession. Each performances actually felt like celebrations, too, although one of many data is as downbeat and mopey as Gibbard has ever gotten.
“Thanks for popping out. We current to you, ‘Transatlanticism,'” the singer, 47, mentioned close to the beginning of the Loss of life Cab portion of the live performance.
About an hour later, he equally introduced the start of the Postal Service’s lone file, “Give Up.” He did not do a lot speaking past that, and as a substitute breezed via the albums like a human CD participant (gadgets nonetheless extensively in use in 2003; oh how rapidly issues would change).
Whereas Loss of life Cab stays Gibbard’s predominant automobile and a top-drawing rock act — the band simply carried out right here in July at Goal Subject for the TC Summer time Fest with the Killers — Gibbard’s little facet venture the Postal Service was the principle attraction on this twofer tour.
The group did solely a short tour in 2003 and a brief 10th anniversary trek in 2013 however in any other case hasn’t recorded or carried out once more, even if “Give Up” went platinum and stays an influential and cult-loved electro-pop album.
With beloved Americana rocker Jenny Lewis in tow as a co-vocalist and multi-instrumentalist — her cool presence is all the time a brightener, even when not wearing white — Gibbard and his Postal Service collaborator Jimmy “Dntel” Tamborello did an admirable if not completely profitable job recreating the electronics-heavy studio recordings on stage.
The poppy hit single “Such Nice Heights” sounded somewhat disjointed and compelled; which is also mentioned of Gibbard’s dancing in it. Among the album’s darker or extra dramatic tracks got here off even stronger in live performance, although, together with the movie-set epic “Clark Gable” and particularly “This Place Is a Jail.”
Each these songs ended with Gibbard seated behind a drum package including additional oomph to the crazy beats. As if he wasn’t already filling sufficient job roles on this evening.
The Loss of life Cab portion of the live performance challenged Gibbard as a singer. After the high-charging opening tune “The New Yr” — one the band nonetheless performs at most exhibits — he needed to sing like a lovelorn, bright-eyed 27-year-old once more within the tender second tune “Lightness.” He particularly stepped up and delivered on vocals within the second half/facet for the album’s title observe and centerpiece, which constructed up slowly and superbly to turn into the emotional excessive level of the evening.
Coming so quickly after Gibbard’s crew confirmed off their newer fare to nice impact at Goal Subject, a few of the “Transatlanticism” tunes sounded a tad simplistic and dated. Loss of life Cab is a bunch that has fairly persistently developed over the previous 20 years.
Nonetheless, “Transatlanticism” captured a pivotal boy-to-man second in Gibbard’s songwriting as he grappled with long-distance love and tensions inside the band. It was a deal with for the various diehard followers among the many 8,000 attendees to listen to the extra headphone-ready, late-night-listening tracks similar to “We Regarded Like Giants” and the longing ballad “Tiny Vessels.”
Gibbard himself appeared pleased to mud off “Loss of life of an Inside Decorator,” calling it his favourite on the album. “I do not know why,” he added, “perhaps I similar to the deep cuts.”
A pair acquainted favorites have been enlisted for a hybrid encore that includes members of each bands. First got here a reprisal of “Such Nice Heights,” this one an acoustic duet by Gibbard and Lewis. Then, the entire crew teamed up for a lushly orchestrated model of Depeche Mode’s “Benefit from the Silence.”
The viewers might need loved listening to one other Loss of life Cab tune or two greater than the quilt tune, however Gibbard had already performed greater than sufficient to deal with the followers to one thing particular.