Review: 1999 Cutie's Death Taxi evokes Austin on sold-out ACL Live (2023)

Cutie's Death Cab on "The New Year" begins with an instantly recognizable gods Patty Cake guitar chord:

Baohua Baohua

(one strike.)

Baohua Baohua

Then the lyrics feel all the force of the hormones and the not-so-new millennium.

Review: 1999 Cutie's Death Taxi evokes Austin on sold-out ACL Live (2)

Ben Gibbard and company performed "New Year's" at the start of ACL Live's Friday show, the second of two sold-out shows in Austin. The Seattle band's career-changing 2003 album, Transatlanticism, opens with a signature Death Cab number that, if the words "hottest" were attached to it, would free association. Once the flagship of indie youth culture, Death Cab has grown into something powerful and mature in the 2020s. Her best work, however, was written before treatments became as routine as annual teeth cleanings. On Friday, the band sold "SAD MUSIC" T-shirts at the merchandise table.

Decades later, the band is still channeling the unspeakable, and the passage of time is very, very imaginative.

Next up is "New Year," where the artists dive into a bunch of raw post-rock sounds that glisten under prismatic light gel, creating a Willy Wonka tunnel in your memory. (The first of several.) As the title suggests, the song is about beginnings, endings, and the hinges of doors that allow passage between them. Gibbard sang "Explosions Off in the Distance," which is a great way to describe something deeply felt in 2003.

"I wish the world was as flat as it used to be," he sings. "Then I just fold a card and travel."

Review: 1999 Cutie's Death Taxi evokes Austin on sold-out ACL Live (3)

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For me, who I undeniably likes to hang around, I like to think about my own outbursts in the background, sad as they are. But now, decades have passed, and songs like "New Year" are both sad and joyful. A Night With Death Taxi shows that the coexistence of both senses can become more enjoyable. Over the years, maps have evolved to the point where they can be folded.

It's a bit gimmicky, I know. (I grew up listening to Ben Gibbard.) When they exclaimed from the mezzanine as the Death Cab encore began, a man deep in the cup said it most clearly, "Play that emo-S___!" let's go! The band immediately started playing "Brothers in Hotel Beds," about two men who lost all enthusiasm as they grew older.

Gibbard reminded the audience of thisIt's been seven years since Death Cab aired their own showin Austin. (they just didPlay Second Weekend of Austin City Limits Music FestivalOctober. ) He suggested that we could narrow it down to five years, because two of those years were pandemics.

"We've been in Austin for 24 years," Gibbard said later. He tells the story of the band's first visit, a gig downtown at Old Emo in August 1999. Never much of a Pacific Northwest boy, Gibbard went to town in a sweatshirt in triple-digit heat. He has sunstroke. They ended up not on the show.

The band members and some local musician friends lived in an apartment that didn't have enough room for the group, leaving Gibbard a bedroom for himself. He recalls being surprised by the kindness he found in Austin.

"It's always been about that community," he said. Death Cab then performed "Rand McNally," a song about "becoming a band at the end of the 20th century," with the lyric "We live on whiskey and twizzlers and young people's discontent." Chorus: "I Won't Let the Lights Go Out."

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When you're creating an old version of yourself through old mantras (aka songs you hear on The O.C.), it helps to not perceive the surreal. Death Cab understands this. In the first few bars of last year's "Asphalt Meadows" opener, "I Don't Know How I Survive," Gibbard finds himself in a column of white light surrounded by ink.

"Black Sun," an apocalyptic single from 2015's "Kintsugi," is tonally a solar flare. To catch the eye where the ears were already flowing, the stage was bathed in purples and greens befitting a Mushroom Journey or the Hulk. Perhaps to add more punch to their latest single, the band literally chose "Northern Lights," a radio-pop-rock track from 2018's "Thank You for Today." The colors of the aurora flicker behind the band before escaping and flushing everything into a rainbow into slate.

Review: 1999 Cutie's Death Taxi evokes Austin on sold-out ACL Live (4)

In “Roman Candle,” a scruffy Gibbard shakes his head as if he still sported his mid-2000s bangs. I was there. Death Cab flips through a collection of classic tracks: "Cath... Soul meets Body Glitter.

But big success comes differently. As the opening track of "I'll Follow You Into the Darkness" begins, the crowded ACL Live screams in pained and euphoric approval.

Gibbard took to the stage solo and gave a history lesson befitting of MTV Unplugged. He explained that the band formed during the second wave of emo, like carrying on a family tree tradition. So they stayed as a mood band. "We didn't like it, but we had to deal with it," he said kindly.

Back then, they didn't like pointing the mic at the crowd and having them sing the song. As we've discovered, times are changing.

"I feel more confident in who I am and who we are," Gibbard said.

Review: 1999 Cutie's Death Taxi evokes Austin on sold-out ACL Live (5)

As evidence of the possible existence of a cult - the words were chanted everywhere in Zilker Park2019's "Dancing Yourself," as Robyn dazzles as she watches,I can think of that too—a sold-out venue proclaiming its eternal devotion to its neighbors, to death taxis, to itself, and maybe to beer. I saw two T-shaped ladies standing on the upper deck, turning and leaving their seats with their eyes closed.

Stereo: "When Heaven and Hell decide they're all content / 'No' shine in their vacant seats / When your soul crawls in you have no one around / Then I'll follow you into the dark."

I don't want to brag, but a guy in front of me turned around and told me my pipe was great. I would literally follow him into the dark.

The final song of the night was of course "Transatlanticism," the title track of an album so massive that it was bornhis own 20th anniversary tour this year(along with Gibbard's side project The Postal Service's seminal album Give Up pays homage to 20 years). "I need you so much" are the lyrics of the song. A simple bow, tied on a twilight, brings vastness and silveryness to such oppressive spacesNow.

For a change, 2001's "Screenplay Ending" from "Album" might have given Austin the best food and happy, sad music through the night. Gibbard sings clearly and softly: "Walk through unconsciousness / When I wake up I'm wide open / The beginning of the late phase / Headlights are headlights / Highway, highway." Then you sing, fans know, 30 Play the word "Highway" at full volume.

Play this mood s___. let's go.

Death Cab for Cutie-Setlist am 10. Februar bei ACL Live

  1. "I don't know how to survive"
  2. "Roman Candles"
  3. "a new Year"
  4. "Every..."
  5. "End of script"
  6. "Always here"
  7. "Black Sun"
  8. "Aurora Borealis"
  9. "I miss strangers"
  10. "Crooked teeth"
  11. "Rand McNally"
  12. "I will follow you in the dark"
  13. "I will have your heart"
  14. "Your heart is an empty space"
  15. "Asphalt Vinson"
  16. "Ghosts of Beverly Boulevard"
  17. "We look like giants"
  18. "Soul Meets Body"
  19. "A Thimble Through a Clearing"
  20. Zugabe: 'Brother in a hotel bed'
  21. "Pfeiffer"
  22. "Manhattan Marching Band"
  23. "Transatlantic"


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