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Death Cab for Cutie Exudes Veteran Confidence, Youthful Energy at Revention

Death Cab For Cutie
Revention Music Center
September 13, 2016

Much like people, bands age differently.

Some acts grow complacent and let themselves go, content to rest on their laurels, while others press on and continue crafting new music worth hearing and live performances worth seeing. In that regard, Death Cab for Cutie is that hunk from high school who somehow managed to get even more handsome in time for his 20-year reunion.

Nearly two decades removed from the band’s formation, Death Cab has maintained its vitality. Both as songwriters and as performers, their sound is still worthy of fans’ attention.

On Tuesday evening, the Pacific Northwest outfit visited Houston for the first time in four or five years (by the band’s own account). The performance solidified the group’s stature in the eyes of longtime fans and likely managed to impress a few younger audience members as well.

Death Cab coolly ambled through its extended catalog of hits with the energy and enthusiasm of a newly minted headlining act, performing nearly two dozen songs while making time for a bit of narration and small talk.

Front man Ben Gibbard's nasally vocals rang out through Revention Music Center for two full hours as teenage fans considered the poignant lyricism and thirtysomethings revisited their existential crises of years past.

"So this is the New Year,” Gibbard sang, “and I don't feel any different."

Before reaching deep into the band’s lesser-known tracks – namely “Company Calls” and “President of What?” – the singer-songwriter told the crowd of his first visit to Houston roughly 18 years ago, when he performed at notsuoH.

Following these two tracks, Death Cab sprang back into the hits. Songs about waiting for loved ones in the hospital, second-guessing one's marriage and the perils of getting what you didn’t really want in the first place abounded, and fans were enthralled from start to finish.

Near the end of the show, Gibbard took a moment to ask the crowd to vote in the upcoming presidential election. And while he didn't endorse either candidate specifically, he did implore the crowd not to vote in anger.

"Everyone is talking about how angry they are," he said. "But no one has ever made a good decision while angry. No one has ever said, ‘You know, I was furious, and I made that decision, and it was the right decision.’”

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"Except the Spartans!" yelled someone in the crowd.

To wit, we have the facts, and we’re voting yes.

SET LIST
No Room in Frame
Crooked Teeth
Photo Booth
The New Year
Black Sun
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive
Title and Registration
Little Wanderer
Company Calls
President of What?
You've Haunted Me All My Life
What Sarah Said
I Will Follow You Into The Dark
I Will Possess Your Heart
El Dorado
You Are a Tourist
Cath…
Soul Meets Body
Bixby Canyon Bridge

ENCORE
Title Track
A Movie Script Ending
Transatlanticism

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