There is no other band I'd travel to see.
Scratch that. There are few bands I would travel out of state to see. I haven't seen Death Cab play since 2006, when they rocked a sold-out show at the Key Arena. That was my first real taste of their celebrity, and of the new people joining me in the audience to watch this band. It was downright eerie and incredibly surreal to hear 7,000 (or does the Key hold more?) people singing along with Ben Gibbard to "I Will Follow You Into The Dark."
It may have creeped me out a bit, but I was so damn proud of those dudes. So I tried not to be too judgmental of the new kids in the crowd, with their pushing and talking on cellphones during songs, and have a good time. The more the merrier, and all that.
Anyway. I found out last Monday that they were performing at Edgefield Amphitheatre. (or amphitheater, if you're not pretentious.) In a rush of excitement, I bought my train tix and finagled a show ticket. When I arrived at the show, I saw not one, not two, but at least three bar tents set up. The Edgefield is kind of like an alcoholic's wonderland: bars around every corner. By the time I got there, most of the audience was already in attendance, lounging on blankets and enjoying the bright sunshine. Did I mention the people walking through the crowd selling beer? There were people walking around selling beer. Not water, on this 80 degree plus day, but BEER. A small group of teens were already pressed eagerly against the guardrail. I settled down a few feet behind them with the new Sedaris and waited.
McMenamins runs a tight ship, and Rogue Wave went on at precisely 6.30. I've only seen Rogue Wave once or twice, and every time, they've charmed the pants right off the audience. Established fans become dancing dervishes yelling song lyrics, and others become wild with excitement, others indie-rock dancing/nodding, and all smiling. Rogue Wave makes me ridiculously happy. I am not the most familiar with their catalog, so forgive me for not knowing the setlist. But they were good, and people were yelling "ENCORE" when they announced their last song, and were still yelling that as the boys were leaving the stage.
Death Cab came on around 8pm, and holy crap. DCFC have reached this point in their career performance-wise, where EVERY show is good. They are now a sleek, well-oiled machine, and it is amazing to see. I could do with a little less fog machines. The audience went absolutely ape – and the boys launched into "Bixby Canyon Bridge." After that, the order of the set-list gets a little foggy, mostly due to the fact I was freaking my shit out and singing loudly (OH so loudly, sorry people in front of me!) but I do remember most, if not all the songs played. They were:
Bixby Canyon Bridge
I Will Possess Your Heart
Company Calls Epilogue
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Soul Meets Body
Movie Script Ending
We Laugh Indoors
Fake Frowns (Airplanes! WOOO!)
Long Division <3
Marching Bands of Manhattan
Sound of Settling
Why You'd Want to Live Here
Title & Registration
It was a splendid mix of brand new songs and old favorites. The only thing that slightly marred my experience was some of the fans near the front, but hey – I'm not the Audience Police – so I just tried to go with the flow. The three drunk girls (quite literally) screeching the lyrics of "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" (dedicated to tourmates Rogue Wave) and mooning over Chris Walla was more hilarious than anything else. However, if it is the second to last song of the encore, and you are a giant bro-dude who pushes smaller ladies out of the way to be in the front? Piss off. Not cool. Other than those couple instances, I had a great time. Rogue Wave came out during "Transatlanticism" to sing the last bits of the song, which edged me over from incredibly happy to flailing and ecstatic. You know, the more I think about it, that show was great. Death Cab were tight, Rogue Wave were charming, and besides a few bad apples, the audience was excited to be there and were fun to rock out with.
Oh! One last thing. During "Title & Registration" Gibbs wrapped the mic cord around his arm and sang a chunk of the song on top of some speakers. The audience flipped out. It was rad.