April 3rd, 2009. Dalhousie University
Fellow Concert goer: Luke Adamski, Jacob Greenslade, Joelle Grant, Jayme Bergman, etc.
Headliner: Death Cab for Cutie
Supporting: The Midway State
Roger's put on a contest called Campus Battle 09 or something along those lines where people voted via their Rogers phones and facebook for their school in an attempt to win a Death Cab concert. DAL had the highest percentage of their students vote, therefore winning the contest. To get tickets you had to win them, or you could buy them from scalpers who were selling them for $100+ a ticket. Kind of ridiculous. Anywho, I didn't win any tickets from the voting portion. But I did end up winning via a Z103 promotion, even though I never listen to that station, and I would rather listen to paint dry than listen to that station. The festivities started at 5:00 when Luke and I got to go to the soundcheck and get some pics with the band since we had VIP passes. There were probably 20 or so of us VIP people, so it was pretty cool just to have a small group of us there for the soundcheck. I can't remember exactly what they played. I just know it was a great oppurtunity to get some "action" shots since you could basically go wherever you wanted to get pictures, not like during a concert when there are a multitude of people in your way. It was also a good oppurtunity to see where in the room the sound was good. Right up against the barricade before the stage didn't sound the best, so we decided at the concert to listen from about ten feet back, much better sound. After the soundcheck and photos, we had food ready for us. It was all finger food, like mozza sticks, chicken nuggets, and that sort of thing. I didn't have too many because I didn't want to be full of gas and nastiness all night. After all that jazz I left and went outside to be with the "normal" ticket winners. Some were rather jealous that I had got to meet them. It was fun though, talking to some friends and music fanatics in the lineup while waiting for the doors to open.
The opening band the Midway State were horrible. They were definitely trying to hard to sound like an epic band. It failed horribly. But the biggest failure of the night was definitely the Rogers representatives who were going around the line striking up casual conversation which eventually led them into the ol' "hey check out my Rogers phone" speal. And they were trying to get us excited and stuff. But come on, this is Death Cab, and we're university students...not 12 year old girls about to see the Jonas Brothers. I think the biggest fail moment for them was when one guy asked us how many albums they had out. We told him 5 or 6. He was surprised, since he thought they were a new band. There was one Rogers girl who actually was a fan, so I gave her props for that...and the fact she allowed me to bypass the line to get in since I was VIP.
And now for a review of the actual show. It was good. I was pleasantly surprised since I didn't really know what to expect. I'm not the biggest Death Cab fan, I just wanted to see a good show. The show featured the majority of the songs off their latest full length album Narrow Stairs, and a mix of songs from their older albums. The songs drawing the biggest positive reaction from the crowd were songs off of their Plans album; Crooked Teeth, Marching Bands of Manhatten, and Soul Meets Body. The show opened with Ben Gibbard alone at the mic with his acoustic guitar singing "I Will Follow You Into the Dark". An interesting way to open a show with a slow acoustic song like that, but it worked. They also played some songs off of their new EP. I must say I enjoyed A Diamond and A Teether from the new EP the most. After a deafening cheer for an encore, they came out and played a few more songs and finally ended with the emotional, epic, and long Transatlanticism. Its one of those songs that closes off a show perfectly, and you're almost glad they didn't play any more songs just because it closed off on such a good night.
All in all it was a great show, as annoying as the Rogers commercialism was. The crowd was good too. I mean Death Cab for Cutie aren't the sort of band that will get you dancing up a storm. But the crowd seemed to be closely following along with every note they played, cheering loudly when needed. It was also nice to be at a show that did not feature intoxicated people pushing me. My favourite songs they played: I Will Possess Your Heart, Crooked Teeth, Sunlight, A Diamond and a Teether, Soul Meets Body