Wow! That was my feeling about the Death Cab for Cutie concert. But, not necessarily for the reasons it should be.
In front of us, last night, was almost a smack down between concert goers. Let me set the scene. When Death Cab took the stage, those of us stuck in the top part of the venue had our view blocked by about 15 people who decided to stand up. They were about a foot from being down in the area where there were dancers and such, but chose to stay above and stand.
The venue creators did a great job sort of dividing the outdoor venue into what is more of the pit where people can stand and dance, and the area where people can sit and enjoy. Because of the time of our arrival, we were stuck in the sit and enjoy area. The “pit” area is actually below where the other area is so that everyone has a good view of the stage. Now back to the story.
After about 10 minutes of people yelling at them to sit down, a guy behind us decided to go deal with the situation. He looked like a body builder but only stood about 5’8″. He goes down there, puts his arm around the guys, explains the situation, and receive a “of course, sir” in response. The guys all either sit down or move to a more appropriate area. We all cheer.
He tries the same tactic with the girls. They seem receptive. They start sitting down….until he turns his back on them. Then they all but give him the finger and stand back up. Everyone (about 100 people) boo them. They don’t care.
As things go on, the people immediately behind them start to get angry. They start tossing things at these people to get their attention. Until that point, they had been trying to get their attention verbally. After a couple failed attempts at getting their attention by throwing bottle caps, they gave up.
About 5 minutes after that, one of the girls got annoyed that things had been thrown at them and decided to confront the offenders. The offenders tried to point out that they were in the way (when the girl looked back at the group, we all waved and applauded – a few people yelled “sit down”) but the girl didn’t seem to notice. This went on until we thought a fight would break out. Then they all went back to what they were doing.
Ms Panda and I had observed earlier in the evening that we were sitting next to a bunch of teachers and their husbands. They had been drinking quite a bit until this point, and they were done with these girls too. They were trying to use their “teacher voices” on them but without success. Finally one of the teachers yelled “get on your knees where you belong so we can see.” Yeah, educators for you.
The drama continued to escalate, but finally started defusing as the girls in question started drifting down the incline towards the standing group. We could all actually see the stage at that point. Ms Panda and I decided that beer+95 degree heat = lots o’ drama.
Death Cab only played for 60 minutes. They did an encore that added another 20 minutes. I forgave them for their short concert because they started the encore with an accoustic version of this song:
Another one of those songs that sends chills down my spine – the lyrics are just…wow….a whole different take on the love song.
Overall it was a good concert. The opening bands weren’t bad: Ra Ra Riot and The New Pornographers with The New Pornographers being my favorite. The two opening acts did a horrible job introducing themselves, so someone from the crowd yelled to The New Pornographers “Who are you?”. The lead singer didn’t miss a beat in asking, “Is this how you introduce yourself? No hi, how are you? Didn’t your parents raise you right? Fuck.” Ahh….smart ass, I know that language well. Their music was very good too.
Death Cab did not disappoint. Great music with lots of variety. And while their radio versions of their songs are pretty mellow, they did a great job in concert being edgier. They sounded like an alternative ROCK band versus just a mellow alternative band. That was a nice surprise. I don’t mind their mellow side, but prefer a more rock feel when they are in concert.
Tomorrow, we see The Decemberists. I will leave you with the song of their that caught my attention on the radio:
This video by the way was shot at Cleveland High School in Portland. Oh, and I should mention that The Decemberists got their start as a Portland band which is why they are playing two almost sold out shows this weekend. Should be a great concert!