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Death Cab for Cutie rocks out Philadelphia's Mann Center


Death Cab for Cutie (with Scottish band Frightened Rabbit opening) played to a packed house at The Mann Center Friday night. The band are out to promote their new record, Codes and Keys, which came out in May 31.Death Cab For Cutie photo: www.collapseboard.com
Death Cab for Cutie are from Bellingham, Washington. Forming in 1997, the band started out as Ben Gibbard’s (guitars, keyboards, vocals) solo project, but they expanded to a full band after his first cassette was a success. Since then the band has released seven albums, five EPs, and one demo.
There has been some turnover since the beginning. The current lineup of Death Cab includes Chris Walla (guitars, keyboards), Nick Harmer (bass) and Jason McGerr (drums).

The band’s songs have been featured in soundtracks for both film and television, and their studio work is controlled and contained. Live however – they rock out. The band played favorites like “Soul Meets Body,” “I Will Possess Your Heart,”  “The New Year” and “The Sound of Settling.”

I saw Death Cab a few years ago, and it looked like Gibbard (who married actress Zoey Deschanel in 2009) has slimmed down a bit. Turns out he has taken up long distance running as part of his method to maintaining sobriety.

Gibbard played the guitar, but occasionally moved over to the keyboards and even jumped on the second drum set (another band adopting double percussion). Gibbard played solo and acoustic “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” and then encouraged the audience to sit down and relax for four minutes because they were “going to play for a long time.”  Interspersed were songs from the new record, including the title track, “Doors Unlocked and Opened” and “You Are a Tourist.”

Gibbard also took time throughout the set to thank the audience for coming – and he beamed as he surveyed the audience and shared that were a lot more people at this show than the last time they played at the venue.

The band played for two hours, finishing with a lovely version of Transatlanticism. There is something magical about hearing the audience singing along particularly at The Mann - the voices roll down from the lawn back to the stage. It must be truly amazing for the bands who are the recipients of all that sound.

On this night, Death Cab delivered, and the fans (who were lucky that it stayed cool and dry!) gave it right back to them.

Set List:
I Will Possess Your Heart
Crooked Teeth
We Laugh Indoors
Movie Script Ending
Doors Unlocked And Opened
Long Division
Grapevine Fires
Codes and Keys
Summer Skin
I Will Follow You Into The Dark
You Are A Tourist
The New Year
Underneath The Sycamore
Title and Registration
Soul Meets Body
Stay Young, Go Dancing
We Looked Like Giants
Marching Bands of Manhattan

Portable Television
Expo '86
Sound of Settling

Contact Diane Cooney at dcooney@philly2philly.com

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