DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE // O2 ACADEMY, GLASGOW
Following the release of their brand new album ‘Thank Your For Today’ American rockers Death Cab For Cutie return to Scotland for a show at Glasgow’s O2 Academy
Of all the bands that have survived the indie-emo baby boom of the early 2000s, Death Cab for Cutie have managed to keep their sombre yet compassionate spirit alive through pushing sonic boundaries and updating their sound without ever compromising frontman Ben Gibbard’s signature songwriting style. Their recently released 9th album ‘Thank You For Today’ is a great exemplification of this. Tonight, the quintet take to the stage at Glasgow’s O2 Academy to celebrate.
Boasting a stage set-up that was as modest and straight to the point as the songs themselves (no backdrop, simple lights), Gibbard and co arrived on stage to ‘I Dreamt We Spoke Again’, a luscious electro-indie cut from the new album which set the tone well for the rest of the evening. Gibbard’s soft and whispery vocals still managed to carry well over the dense instrumentation. The set leaned heavily on songs from ‘Thank You For Today’, identifiable by their heavy use of guitar effects and synths. Old favourites were obviously scattered through the expansive hour-and-three-quarter set including cuts from Transatlanticism (Title and Registration, The Sound of Settling, Expo 86), Narrow Stairs (Long Division, Cath, I Will Possess Your Heart) and Plans (Crooked Teeth, I Will Follow You into the Dark, Soul Meets Body).
A variety of digital effects and processing were used by the quintet to get the tones and sounds exactly right for the performance of each track. However, as much as this added to the sonic balance of the set, there was a feeling that perhaps the live element lost some depth with the instrumentals of each track being almost exactly replicated from the recordings. While this deserves some merit, perhaps it would have interesting to see some of the tracks reworked to fit a live setting better and provide some variety and energy into some of the softer tracks for which the set leaned heavily. One exception would be the performance of ‘Title and Registration’ which featured a slightly more dynamic live arrangement. Energetic and uptempo songs such as ‘Cath’ and ‘Crooked Teeth’ a much-needed injection of adrenaline into the set. However, Gibbard’s sentimental balladry is what has built and sustained Death Cab’s place in indie rock and despite how this is presented, its brilliance does not fail to shine through.
SETLIST: | DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE : O2 ACADEMY, GLASGOW - 26.01.2019
I Dreamt We Spoke Again
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive
Title and Registration
What Sarah Said
60 & Punk
I Will Possess Your Heart
You Moved Away
A Movie Script Ending
Soul Meets Body
The Sound of Settling
I Will Follow Your Into the Dark
When We Drive
We Looked Like Giants