Death Cab for Cutie @ Madison Square Garden Theater: 11-09-06

What a night...

I am beat. This was definitely one of those nights where I should have stayed at home. Inside my head there's a rampaging tide of invective that I have to keep clenched between my teeth to keep from exploding around me, and I can still feel the dull ache in the side of my neck from the strain of keeping me mouth shut.

But instead I went out to the city to catch Death Cab for Cutie play at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. We were supposed to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists open, but unfortunately didn't get there in time.

This is "The New Year" off of Transatlanticism. I'll be honest - I was definitely not in the right frame of mind for this show. Now that I'm back home, listening to Transatlanticism, I' m really enjoying DCFC. But while I was there it was a different story, and it's not fair to how well the band came off. They were tight, friendly, open to different interpretations of the songs, and overall were a very engaging band.

"Lightness." The backdrop was a cool image of windows that kept changing colors. Throughout the show there were a bunch of kids throwing their hands up in the air. I don't think the indie kids quite know what to do with their hands - I saw quite a few half-hearted "devil horns" flail and end up as either index fingers waving or, even worse, the thumb and pinkie "surf's up" wave. There might have been a tear in guitarist Chris Walla's eye, but that might have been because he realized he wasn't as popular as frontman Ben Hibbard.

I just moved on to listening to the most recent album, Plans. Still good, although I think there's always something about the live environment that brings out the best in songs. Ben Hibbard's got a distinctive voice and great lyrics. He also rocks the wristband circa '83, baby!

"What Sarah Said." The thing I remember most around this time was that I was getting tired. After the show I said I thought they could have cut the show down by about 4 or 5 songs. Listening now I'm glad they played as many as they did.

Best part of the show for me was when Ben joined on the mini drum kit for a balls-out hard rock drumming interlude during "We Looked Like Giants." Little girls everywhere ran for cover. Skinny guys wearing blazers over hooded sweatshirts held each other and wept. I stood emblazoned with my NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS t-shirt and dog-eared copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Predjudice and laughed knowing I only I was man enough to stand every second of it...

In quick succession..."The Sound of Settling" before the encore break.

Ben came out for a solo rendition of "I Will Follow You into the Dark." Lighters were (rightfully) lit. Everyone sang along. Nice moment.

Lat song of the night...I think this was "Transatlanticism" but I have to check with Sean first.

All in all it could have been a better night, but now that I sit back and relax in the comfort on the old homestead, I guess it could have been worse, too.

Oh, soooo worse!