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Review Mon May 23 2011

Review: Death Cab For Cutie @ Metro

Ben Gibbard (Photos by Steve Stearns)

In anticipation of their upcoming album, Codes and Keys, Seattle indie rock heavyweights Death Cab For Cutie embarked on a small tour of much smaller venues than the band has been accustomed. In a show that sold out almost instantly, the band swung by Metro Friday night to debut their new tracks and play some old favorites. The last few times they've come through our fair city, Death Cab played Aragon and Lollapalooza, making this night at Metro a rare experience for fans.

Chris Walla (Photos by Steve Stearns)

While we were treated with a preview of a majority of Codes and Keys, the just under two hour set was filled with songs spanning their over decade-long career. Between the straight-forward pop of "The Sound of Settling" to the lengthened build-up of "I Will Possess Your Heart" to the keyboard-heavy, melodic new tracks, the discernible evolution of the band was showcased in full. The true advantage of seeing Death Cab in such an intimate venue stood out in the softer moments of their set, such as the "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" sing-along and at every point during the night when Ben was seated behind a keyboard instead of rocking out behind a guitar.

The crowd was anything but homogeneous, as I witnessed an older, grey-haired gentleman shove his way to the front of the crowd amongst the typical legion of bespectacled indie rock kids and the almost surprising number of bros. The band pulled out a few surprises for us, including "Photobooth" off The Forbidden Love EP and "Company Calls" off We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes. However, their closing hit "Transatlanticism" is what really got the crowd riled up, and I was almost knocked off my feet from the frenzied dancing of my nearby concertgoers.

Eager indie rock fans (Photos by Steve Stearns)

While I have been following the band since early in their career, this was my first time experiencing a live Death Cab show, and fortunately for me it was in a venue as small as Metro. The band returns to Chicago later this summer at UIC Pavilion, but they seem far better suited to be playing cozier venues than large arenas. I'd be interested to see how the band performs with all of the fanfare an arena-sized show requires.

Codes and Keys will be released May 31st off Atlantic Records, but the album is currently available for preview over at NPR.

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Layton Johnston / May 26, 2011 10:40 AM

They didn't happen to play "Some Boys," did they? That's my favorite from the new record.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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