Death Cab For Cutie Co-headline With The Postal Service For A Twenty Year Anniversary Release
A Concert Review

A 2D illustration of a crow with red string, from the Death Cab for Cutie album cover.
Art by Courtney Jeffs

For anyone who loves music, there’s nothing better than a great reunion show by a band that influenced a portion of their youth. Certain music can be the reason why our personal molds are shaped the way they are, and years later, when that song comes on at random, we are instantly transported back in time to where we were when we fell in love with it. On October 7th, I was inside of the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington watching Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service perform, but in my mind, I was a teenager again driving around with my friends and singing along to the songs by these bands. 

The large stadium arena holds over 18,000 people and I was lucky enough to catch a seat. The arena was filled with people swarming in and out, either finding their seat or exiting for beers and to buy band merch. Although I was seated far away at the top in ‘the nosebleeds,’ I wasn’t phased, as this show in particular was a special one. Death Cab For Cutie was co-headlining with frontman Ben Gibbard’s old side project, The Postal Service. Death Cab For Cutie has released multiple albums and toured consistently since 1997. The Postal Service on the other hand released only one album, Give Up twenty years ago, and this performance marked the anniversary for their debut release. As no surprise, Death Cab For Cutie played first, as to build the anticipation for the long awaited Postal Service reunion. The DCFC members entered the stage in all black and began playing their beloved indie rock hits. After playing a few songs, they addressed the crowd, expressing how grateful they were to be performing for such a monumental crowd in the city where they began their musical journey. Ben spoke with such humble words as he thanked everyone for being present at one of two back to back sold out shows in their hometown. They began again and soon after played “Transatlanticism,” a slow and melancholy song. Halfway through, I had tears in my eyes as I could feel the power the music had over me, and in that moment, I heard the stranger next to me sniffling. I looked over as they wiped tears from their face. I then began observing everyone around me and saw another handful of people also wiping their tears away. When the band finished their set loudly, shouting more thanks to the crowd, all members of the band stood looking out towards the audience bowing and also shedding tears and wiping them from their eyes. I thought, what a different kind of musical experience, to share the same heartfelt emotion simultaneously with the strangers around you.

Not even thirty minutes later, The Postal Service members entered the stage one by one, all in white. The roar from the audience seemed much louder than at any other point in the night. I myself was overflowing with excitement as I knew this was a special event to be a part of. They started the set with “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” and I could barely hear Ben’s vocals as the crowd was just as loud singing along. There was an intense energy being conjured from the performance. During the middle of the set they played their biggest hit, “Such Great Heights,” and something I’ve never seen before, they ended the set with an acoustic version as well. The crowd seemed pleased to hear the song twice. After they exited the stage, of course everyone waited for an expected encore. I was curious as to what it would be since Death Cab For Cutie never came back out for theirs. After hollers from the audience, every member from both bands entered the stage again and performed a cover by the popular eighties New Wave band Depeche Mode, “Enjoy The Silence.” I don’t think anyone was expecting such an ending that held the powerful energy it did. This concert was a definite ‘grade A’ performance and one of a kind musical experience.  

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