This could have been the third time I would get to see Death Cab For Cutie but back when I lived in Germany I had to miss out taking a couple of trains down to Cologne to catch them. I was sick or something. Probably.
But I did catch them the last time they were in Singapore. 2012 at Fort Canning Park. You know you have been living in a country for a while when a band has time to tour the country again while you’re there. Scary.
Since 2012 they have released Kintsugi which has a number of stand-out tracks. Which I think sums up my relationship with DC. They don’t really have an album that I love from start to finish. Which is great for seeing them live as they play the best tracks from most of their album back catalog.
Just a quick word on the venue. The Hard Rock Coliseum on Sentosa is a pretty nice venue; outside but covered. It’s just a bit annoying to get to and I always feel I need to rush for a taxi off the island pretty sharpish after an encore. This was my fourth time there after seeing Tenacious D, Flaming Lips, and Alt-J there. They never seem to open the doors on time and for Alt-J I ended up missing the first song. But this time, I wandered in at 7:45 for an 8pm start and made my way to the second row. Result! I thought. Nobody mentioned anything about a support band and out rolled Take Two, a local Singaporean band, to croon out half a dozen songs. To be fair, I was never going to love anyone I wasn’t expecting but I do have one of their songs in my head this morning, much to my chagrin. They are pretty cheesy and do a lot of “oooh, ehh, oooohhhhhhh” songs. On to the main performers please.
The gig itself by DC was very enjoyable. Again, like Bon Iver, they are a musically tight act sprinkling their set with a range of songs from their various albums. Starting off with the lamenting No Room in Frame and delving happily in to Crooked Teeth was the start of a washing machine setlist of melody, tempo, indie, and pop rock. Ben Gibbard is a charismatic blur on stage totally involved and energised. I’m happy to say he sweats like a mere mortal in 90% humidity too.
Highlights throughout the night were crowd favourite Black Sun, a pulsating New Year, melancholic What Sarah Said, and a heart thumping bass driving I Will Possess Your Heart.
The near two hour set list went by quite quickly with the Singaporean crowd reacting warmly to each song. They wrapped up the night (and with me making my way to the back for a quick taxi getaway) with a three song encore that consisted of some of Death Cab’s most melodic and contemplative songs; Passenger Seat and Transatlanticism. I actually remember listening to Transatlanticism at 40,000 feet over the Atlantic. A song better titled there is not.
All in all, a great gig by a consummately professional group.
Why do people ruin quiet songs by singing along at concerts..? Sigh…
Disclaimer: I realise I’m becoming one of those people who record stuff at concerts. I realise that with great sadness. I have some rules. I hold the phone in front of my face and not up and in front of everyone else. I break it out at most to capture two songs (for Bon Iver I captured just one). I do believe in living in the moment and enjoying what’s in front of me but I also want to have content for my blog. And I try to do that without being an inconsiderate jerk like many around me.
While I’m at it why do people come to a concert to just stand around the back and talk non-stop? So bizarre…