Posted by: Cory | April 18, 2009

Review: Death Cab for Cutie @ Palace – 4/10

(Photo by Rachel Seed)

Today we’ve got a guest review by Joey Flispart who caught the Death Cab show at The Palace on their first trip back to town since coming with Ted Leo/Pharmacists in Nov. ’06, following the release of Plans.  Although rude to the incredible Ted Leo, the kids were alright by the time DCFC joined up.  As for this year’s show…

I was very excited all the way back in January when I found out that Death Cab For Cutie would be returning to The Louisville Palace to play a show. Especially since it was announced they would be playing with Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot (who put on an outstanding show back in December at 930 Room). I knew it would sell out fairly soon, so I snatched up some pre-sale tickets via the DCFC Union (their official fanclub). I was happy to see it sell out too. Goes to show that Louisville can fill seats for some bigger names. Unfortunately, they really were seats, but that was fine for a more mellow band like Death Cab. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves just fine, and that’s what matters.

I wish I could write more about Ra Ra Riot, but I completely missed their set. This was very unfortunate since they are one of my new favourite bands. I blame it all on the bum singing LA Woman to me and my friends while walking to the venue, it just made us a few minutes too late.  I was happy to see a lot of people talking to Ra Ra Riot after the show, especially since there was such a poor showing for their Louisville debut. Hopefully they’ll come around again very soon.

Cold War Kids was the second band of the night and I must admit that I had never listened to them before. I also must admit that I freakin’ loved them. They had such a great sound and energy. The woman next to me couldn’t help but dance for quite a few songs. After the second song I knew I would be buying any records they had at the merch table. Maybe they’ll make a future stop in Louisville later in the year… I hope.

Death Cab seemed to be taking their time to come on stage, but once they did we all knew it was well worth the wait. As soon as the lights went off everyone was on their feet and cheering. The Palace seats 2,500+ and at least ninety percent of the crowd was standing when Ben Gibbard and company took stage. That’s quite a good number of people to be heard at once. Also, at least two of those people later yelled out, “Scientist Studies!” I was proud of those two people.

Death Cab kicked the evening off with “Cath” transitioning straight into “Your Heart Is An Empty Room”. The set had a wide variety of songs spanning most of their albums. Something About Airplanes and You Can Play These Songs With Chords are still abandoned for some reason though. They did bust out “Title Track” and “Company Calls” from We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes and I’m happy that I wasn’t the only one ecstatic to hear them. They dedicated “Title And Registration” to Cold War Kids stating, “This song of heartbreak goes out to The Cold War Kids. Not that it reflects our feelings toward them.” Ben also talked up Ra Ra Riot and dedicated “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” to them, to which he said, “…They played first tonight and although some of you may not of been here, they were amazing. For those of you who were here, you guys know what I’m talking about. For everybody else, shame on you, buy an album on your way out because it’s great. They are great.” I fully agree with Ben on this one.

Ben later starts talking about a venue they played at a few nights before, and they had posters up for bands playing there. He said it was all the popular bands from the past, but they were missing key members, like Journey, but without Neal Schon, or The Cars without Ric Ocasek, just some other guy singing. He wondered if there would be the same thing for popular bands now in 20 years. Like Death Cab with everyone but him, like “these guys” with Jim James (when he said this it got tons of applause). Or some guy named Steve and Sara for Tegan and Sara. Makes you wonder what it will be like in 20 years.

After playing for almost an hour and a half straight, they took a short break and came back like we knew they all would. “Transatlanticism” is the song that ended the spectacular night at The Palace. That is one song I will never get tired of seeing live, even though it is a hefty 7+ minutes. They still play it with passion and meaning every time I see it. I was told earlier that evening that video recording was not allowed for the show, and I really wish I could have recorded that one. Luckily, for those who could not attend, I was able to record a lot of early songs without “getting caught”. Those will be posted below.

I have been lucky enough to see Death Cab three times now and I think this was one of the best shows. I would also like to say that Chris Walla is one of the nicest members of any band I have ever met. He took extra time after the show to talk about Rickenbackers and amps with my friends, and about Morrissey and The Smiths with me. I give an A+ and a gold star to him.

So it seems once again that Death Cab played a great set, but that again the opening bands were shunned.  When Ben feels the need to call the audience out on it, you know it must have been glaringly vacant.  We need to fix this kids….



DCFC Setlist:

  1. Cath…
  2. Your Heart Is An Empty Room
  3. The New Year
  4. Why You’d Want To Live Here
  5. Crooked Teeth
  6. My Mirror Speaks
  7. Grapevine Fires
  8. Title Track
  9. Soul Meets Body
  10. I Will Follow You Into The Dark
  11. I Will Possess Your Heart
  12. Little Bribes
  13. Title and Registration
  14. A Movie Script Ending
  15. Long Division
  16. The Sound of Settling
  17. Marching Bands of Manhattan


  1. Summer Skin
  2. Company Calls
  3. Transatlanticism

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