Live Review: Death Cab For Cutie + Dappled Cities - HQ (20.02.12)

Death Cab For Cutie have been a band who took awhile for me to warm up to initially when I heard The Photo Album, moons ago. But with Transatlanticism, I was completely won over by Ben Gibbard’s vocal and song-writing ability. The band’s Australian tour, I thought, had been slightly under-advertised, and I was interested to see how the Adelaide crowd would turn out for DCFC. Surprisingly, a tonne of people turned out to watch the band play HQ, as I found out when I finally worked my way to the back of the line, which reached around and deep into the car park. It wasn’t long before everyone had finally packed themselves comfortably inside and began the wait for some form of live music.

I only found out, perhaps half an hour before, that Dappled Cities were to be Death Cab’s national support act, yet it was nearing on 9pm before any of their equipment had been set up. All of a sudden, the band rushed onstage and quickly set up their instruments, with Dave Rennick blaming their lateness on the fact their plane never showed up. With time left for two songs, the band were awesome; it was a real shame that they didn’t have more time, because I’d been so looking forward to seeing Dappled Cities live. Their sound quality was excellent and the band was as energetic as they could be, especially under the circumstances.

After the stage was reset once more, the crowd wasn’t left waiting long for the headliners. Screams welcomed Death Cab as they walked out, with Gibbard saying hello to the fans before starting the night with “A Lack of Colour”. The set the band played was extensive with about 20 or so songs being rolled out over the night. Highlights for me had included “I Will Possess Your Heart” and “Codes and Keys”, but it was when Gibbard had the stage on his own with an acoustic guitar and began “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” that I truly felt like I was part of something special. Everyone stood in near silence, except for the few who quietly sung along with the song, with Gibbard at times improvising harmonies and extended parts.

The band work so well together as a bunch of live musicians, with banter and jokes with the audience really enhancing the warm atmosphere shared between band and crowd. They didn’t seem to weary and as the set came to an end with an awesome rendition of “The Sound of Settling”, the crowd seemed to be absolutely blown away. With a three song encore to follow, Death Cab For Cutie played such a large set of tunes that it was hard to limit the amount of musical highlights. I wasn’t expecting to be at such a large and musically epic show tonight, especially on a Monday night, but it was a great experience to be a part of.