Friday, February 17, 2006
Even though we set ourselves up behind the soundboard, which meant we had a clear view most of the time (get yer photos!) and were in the supposedly best spot for sound, I come away from Death Cab for Cutie's February 15th concert with the feeling of eeh (shrug of the shoulders). It was okay. Despite Ben Gibbard's spot-on voice every song was loud and energetic from the beginning as though they had overheard us say that it should be a mellow concert, took insult, and vowed to show us that they were anything but. Quite a departure from their usual song formulas of tinkling, gentle beginnings which swell into a mesmerizing full sound no matter how many times they repeat the same line! "Different Names for the Same Thing" (playing this week on their project site, Directions) is a great example of this. But the loud jamming from the start of every song made them more...more...more emo than I had anticipated. And emo is fine. It's simply that shock of expecting to see one thing and getting another. We all get that with movies when we go to a slapstick comedy in a drama kind of mood. Emo was reinforced not only by the thick, dark-framed bespectacled crowd and their leather cuff bracelets, but a hint of mainstream was in there as well. One girl in my group struck up conversation with a British girl, asking her if she knew DCFC from The Postal Service, but she drew a blank look. No, she said, I only know them from watching The OC. D'oh! I could have taken it if she had said she knew if from Six Feet Under.
No matter. Karlstorbahnhof is the place to go for your dosage of independent movies and smaller acts. The Saal is a very small, intimate place for concerts, but they do something crazy by putting up rafters for people to stand on so they can actually see.
Update: Setlist and live audio of this concert now available!
Other concert reviews: Ani Difranco & Andrew Bird and Wilco.