September 12th was a career defining moment and dream come true for Ben Gibbard and his band, Death Cab For Cutie. The indie-rock band from Seattle reminisced about their defining New York City performance at the Mercury Lounge back when Gibbard was just 23, expressing that “playing a show to 30 people at the Mercury Lounge felt like playing Madison Square Garden. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be showing up in New York City to play a show – playing Madison Square Garden was something you would say almost as a joke.”
With indie-rock bands now increasingly playing the big stage, Death Cab For Cutie did not disappoint at the Garden. The band opened to a sold-out arena with “No Room In Frame,” sending the crowd into a welcoming uproar. During the two-hour set, Death Cab For Cutie played most of their new album, Kintsugi, including “Black Sun” and “The Ghosts of Beverley Drive” among their more well-known hits such as “I Will Possess Your Heart,” “Soul Meets Body,” “You Are A Tourist” and “Cath… .”
One of the more transcending moments in the show was when the band left the stage to focus the spotlight on Gibbard and his acoustic guitar for the anticipated performance of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t singing along, with the song uniting the audience as one, just as it secured the bond between the band and their fans on the song’s first release. Every harmonic played was radiant, reverberating through the hearts of the dedicated crowd.
Gibbard also took to the keys during the show and played an encore of three songs to a crowd who just couldn’t get enough. They performed the fitting “Marching Bands of Manhattan,” the emotive “Passenger Seat” and finished with “Transatlanticism.” The thankful band served non-stop pumping energy and truly carved out a spot at the Garden for themselves. I look forward to seeing them at the Garden again.
– Jason Kwan