It had been nearly four years since Death Cab For Cutie last performed in Nashville and a lot has changed in the course of that time span.
On that 2015 tour run, the Seattle based band had just released “Kintsugi” its eighth studio album. Not only that, frontman Ben Gibbard was fresh off a recent divorce and founding member Chris Walla had just left the band.
Since then, Gibbard has gotten remarried and in August of last year, Death Cab For Cutie put out is ninth album, “Thank You For Today.” That latest LP from the band was heralded as a success from several publications, even with Rolling Stone stating that the band felt “rejuvenated” with their sound on that latest project.
That rejuvenation was apparent on Tuesday night when the band played its second of two shows at Ryman Auditorium in Music City. Here are three takeaways from Death Cab For Cutie’s second show at Ryman Auditorium.
The hits are great, but…
During the band’s nearly two-hour performance, it made sure to hit all of the fan favorites. Early into the set, the band visited “Title and Registration,” off of the wildly successful 2003 album “Transatlanticism.”
The night of hits continued, including later in the performance when Gibbard stood alone with his acoustic guitar, playing a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.”
Before the start of the song, Gibbard joked with the audience that his nightmare was learning that Florida Georgia Line had covered the song, only to win an award for their performance. Thankfully for the Death Cab singer, that hasn’t yet become a reality and is still left in Gibbard’s hands.
While revisiting the band’s discography made for a fun night, it was the new material that I was interested in seeing. In total, the band only played five songs off of the new record, however, it was during those performances that the band was having its most fun, smirking at each other and just enjoying each other’s company on stage.
Ryman Auditorium was the perfect venue
It’s no secret that Ryman Auditorium is a beautiful and intimate venue. Combine that, with the Death Cab’s mournful, but yet almost cinematic sound, the venue played a huge part in the show, echoes surrounded The Mother Church.
As already noted, the band played “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” However, during that performance, the crowd was fully invested, mouthing along with the lyrics, as the words felt like gospel coming out of Gibbard’s lips.
Then there was the creepy, but delightfully fun performance “I Will Possess Your Heart.” The bass line of that song echoing throughout the venue made for a can’t-miss effort.
Nothing topped the finale though. As per the usual, Death Cab For Cutie ended its performance with “Transatlanticism,” that had the audience swimming in its emotions as the instrumentals built over the song.
Where do we go from here?
With every album release, it feels like Death Cab is trying to convey where they are at in life. So now that the band is rejuvenated again, the question is, what happens next.
Well the band doesn’t have any intention of breaking up, as Gibbard assured the crowd that it would be back. However, it leaves me wondering, will the next album be a similar sound to its latest release?
If so, I welcome the opportunity to give that album a listen. Judging from the crowd’s reaction from Tuesday’s performance, I guarantee that you’ll hear no objection from them either.