By looking at the exterior of the night’s venue you could easily tell how big this Monday night was going to be. A line of hungry fans full of young and old wrapped themselves in a full circle around Adelaide’s HQ complex, ripe with anticipation for Death Cab for Cutie’s first appearance in Australia in three years.
Fast forward to just before the clock striking nine where openers Dappled Cities are seen rushing onto stage with all of their equipment. The Sydney indie rockers moved like lightning to get all of their gear setup and swiftly gave the crowd a run through of what happened, stating that their plane had been delayed and now only had time for two songs. Following this, they energetically played “The Price” then comically saying “this is our last song, thank you for having us” right before playing their closer.
Even though the night hadn’t sold out, the venue was swarming with people who all threw out a combined ear piercing scream when the four Death Cab boys came out. Ben Gibbard started the show by playing “A Lack of Colour” which hypnotised the crowd into outputting a chorus of voices singing along.
One of the wonderful things about the band’s shows is that they never seem to play the same set twice on a certain tour, which made it completely unpredictable what songs they were going to play next. Following their opening song, they jumped right into “I Will Possess Your Heart” where, despite having an absurdly long intro, they managed to keep everyone gazing at them in admiration throughout the song. It all seemed extraordinarily planned out, too, as Gibbard was running back and forth between the piano at the rear of the stage and his guitar without missing a beat.
After playing a ton more classics, they stopped to rest and gave the crowd a really, really long set of banter. They told the crowd how they played on the exact same stage ten years ago supporting Australian band Something For Kate and jokingly saying they plan to hire out a new band to play the instruments for them while they stand on stage and point at people in the crowd. Guitarist Chris Walla also explained his spontaneous decision of choosing to, then and there, start growing a moustache when Gibbard mockingly responded, “Well Chris, we’re all growing moustaches right now, because we’re alive.”
Their penultimate song before their encore was an extended version of “We Looked Like Giants” which was one of the major highlights in the night. In the second part of the song a drum kit opposite the drummers was quickly set up for Gibbard, where he played in unison with Jason McGerr for a good five minutes.
Following this, they finished with “The Sound of Settling” then walked off. There was some sense of doubt that they would return because they had already played for over an hour and a half, and they seemed to not be coming back no matter how loud the crowd chanted. Nonetheless after many minutes of waiting, they finally returned and broke out with a sped up version of “No Joy in Mudville” followed by three other songs from album Transatlanticism. And with that, their flawless two hour set was over.
– Tom Gaffney