In the heart of Seattle, the early 2000s came roaring back to life in a wave of nostalgia. A two-night love fest at the Climate Pledge Arena reunited fans with the ultimate music for both the sad and the sappy. It’s a reminder that, though time may have aged us a bit, the soundtrack of our formative years still resonates deeply within us.
Death Cab For Cutie, the seminal indie rock band hailing from Bellingham, graced the stage as part of their 20th Anniversary Tour, performing their iconic album, Transatlanticism. The transformation of lead singer Ben Gibbard, from his all-black ensemble to an all-white wardrobe, marked a momentous return to the stage as The Postal Service, his renowned indie pop side project.
While concert reviews typically aim for impartiality, it’s hard not to be swayed by the melodic genius that is Ben Gibbard and his talented bandmates, Jason, Dave, Nick, and Zac. Witnessing bands infuse old songs with fresh energy and emotion is nothing short of remarkable. Even in the grandeur of the Climate Pledge Arena, Death Cab managed to create an intimate living room-like atmosphere.
For those unacquainted with The Postal Service’s live performance, it’s akin to witnessing a rare celestial event – an experience that fully lives up to the towering anticipation. The Postal Service’s claim to fame is their singular album, Give Up, but the love for it has never faded. Fans were on their feet, enthusiastically singing along to every endearing lyric, transported back to the days when digital beats serenaded their drives in manual Jettas adorned with graduation tassels.
While Seattle’s affection for Death Cab is unwavering, it was clear that this crowd of nostalgic Millennials had come to see Ben, Jenny, and Jimmy, resplendent in their dreamy white attire, for a class reunion disguised as The Postal Service’s live performance.
Friday’s show summoned memories of ex-flames, meandering drives through Kirkland’s old streets, and the pondering of life post-graduation. The former version of myself would have been ecstatic for the present me to relive that same moment on this Friday night in 2023.
Continuing with the theme of a school yearbook, let’s announce some evening superlatives.
Most Likely To Succeed undoubtedly goes to the opening act, The Beths. Declared musical geniuses and “songwriters of a generation” by Gibbard himself, this New Zealand indie rock band’s star is rapidly on the rise. Their surprise appearance on the lineup was a delightful treat for all.
The Friendliest Climate Pledge Worker slash Nicest Stranger I’ve Ever Met accolade is awarded to Josie from Section 14. Josie not only inquired about the performing band but also grooved to every song as if it were her personal anthem, all while diligently fulfilling her arena duties. She informed me that she was in her 60s, exuding a peace and love vibe that would have fit right into Woodstock. Hello, Josie, if you happen to read this!
And last but not least, the title of Most Popular is a three-way tie. It goes to the highly anticipated Seattle super songstress, Jen Wood, the special on-stage guest during the performance of the fan-favorite “Nothing Better.” Sharing the honor are Jimmy Tamborello, who received thunderous applause for his close-ups and well-timed contributions, and Jenny Lewis, a captivating presence in her flowing white dress, enchanting vocals, and masterful instrumental skills, adding an extra layer of romance to The Postal Service’s performance.
Congratulations to the night’s winners, and congratulations to all of us for sharing an unforgettable evening welcoming back Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service to where it all began.