Death Cab for Cutie was in town last night, and I had a tremendous time at the concert last night. I hadn't been to a concert in over a year, so this was a nice way to get back into the swing of things.
I got there about twenty minutes before the doors opened with dimmi and a friend who has no online appellation (we'll call her "Alyssa"). Our position in line was decent in terms of proximity to the door, but we ended up getting stuck in front of a van from a local radio station that insists on calling itself independent. (I'll leave it to you to discern the irony of a radio station that loudly proclaims its freedom from the corruption of major labels that then plays Jimmy Eat World and Coldplay at you.) This radio van ended up being typical of most of the attendees, though. The arena was full of young people wearing expensive and preppy clothes and talking about how much they just love indie rock like Death Cab. I was secretly pleased when the band would play something that wasn't from Transatlanticism or Plans and notice that no one there knew the songs.
We made it inside and took our seats, which actually weren't too bad, considering I got the tickets just a couple of weeks before the concert. Alyssa was supposed to sit a little way from us, but we convinced her to sit next to us and that whomever was supposed to sit where she was would either switch seats with her or just not show up. She sat in terror for about an hour or so, mortified that someone would come and make her move, but it turned out that that person just didn't come.
At 8:00, the lights went out and Mates of State, the opening act, began to play. I actually hadn't heard them play before, but lanada insisted that I would like them, so I paid studious attention. I thought they were pretty good, as did dimmi and Alyssa, but the 16 year-old next to me clearly did not. He sat and sent a steady stream of text messages for their entire set. "I did not pay to see Mates of State," he seemed to say, although the message probably looked more like "this sux dont u think" or "wheres deaf cab???"
Possibly the best part of the already solid opening act, though, was seeing one young woman stand up and dance. She was sitting in the front row of the bleachers, yet she felt a very real need to stand up and dance in what she clearly felt was a hip and trendy fashion. (She was wrong.) Her boyfriend, in a touching show of solidarity, also stood up and made some attempts at swaying with her with the occasional arm motion. I thought it was pretty funny from where I was sitting, but I imagine it would have been really irritating had I been sitting right behind them.
After a short break between sets, the lights went out. Everyone got really excited - Death Cab was going to come out! Suddenly, one very bright purplish light came on and the music started up. I couldn't actually make out anything on the stage other than this purple light. Apparently I'd been decieved - Death Cab for Cutie, rather than being a group of four humans, was in reality only one bright light. Who knew? The bright light then launched into "The New Year," which was the song that I'd guessed was going to be first. (We had a discussion about which song we thought was going to be first. I won, followed by Alyssa's guess of "Marching Bands of Manhattan.") After a couple more songs, the light went down to reveal...four human beings! Huzzah! They do exist!
All told, it was a pretty sturdy concert. I was pleased with the choice of songs as well as the company I had. I was especially amused to see several young couples around us all dancing by rubbing against each other as much as possible. The couple a few rows down from us seemed especially guilty of this - they would be all over each other even on really slow songs. I thought it was pretty funny and inwardly cursed myself for not having thought of it on my own. The best part of the show - for me, at least - came at the very end when they closed with "Transatlanticism." They invited Mates of State to come on stage and join them for the last song. It had a ton of energy at the end and seemed to me to be a perfect way to close out the evening.
Fittingly enough, the last song was played by the same bright light that opened the show.