Death Cab for Cutie Plays at Ommegang Brewery
August 10th 2012 · 1 Comment
One afternoon, I received a text from my good friend Derek Scarlino asking me if I listened to “Death Cab For Cutie.” When I was thirteen, I fell in love with The Photo Album, the Indie rock legend’s third studio record. Derek then asked me if I wanted to go see them for free and write an article for The Utica Phoenix. I simply replied “ummm, duh.”
So, on Saturday, July 21, I hit the road to Cooperstown bound to witness the second weekend of the Ommegang Brewery Summer Concert Series. I grabbed my iPhone, filled my gas tank, and jumped on the road.
I couldn’t be more excited to finally cross “Death Cab For Cutie” off on my band bucket list. Over the years they were one of the bands I’d miss due to some crazy circumstance, but those days were now behind me as I headed towards Cooperstown.
Knowing that the drive to Cooperstown wasn’t very long, I packed light. The weather was perfect and scenery was beautiful. It would have been a very relaxing trip if my Google Maps app had not dropped service repeatedly. Luckily, I had been in this predicament before.
I followed my instincts and got right behind the first car full of people that I thought might listen to “Death Cab.” I was correct in my assumptions and arrived at Ommegang Brewery right as the show was beginning.
Upon leaving my car I noticed that someone was playing music from a favorite up-and-coming band of mine, “Surfer Blood.” The band, out of West Palm Beach, Florida has been getting noticed for their upbeat-punkish take on Indie Rock, while still managing to have a pop sensibility that gets people’s heads bobbing.
Shortly thereafter, I realized it was in fact not someone with good taste playing music, but the band itself playing. This was news to me, and I proceeded to somehow get more excited than I already was, which I didn’t know was possible.
“Surfer Blood” brought the crowd to its feet and got people moving and swaying before “Death Cab” took the stage. Their snarling guitars and thumping drums managed to sound caustic and rebellious to the uninitiated, but when weaved with bass guitar, keyboards, and singer John Paul Pitts voice, it created a sound that was harsh, yet sweet and made it apparent to everyone there why they were chosen to open for “Death Cab.”
When it came time for the main attraction, “Death Cab” took the stage with more vigor than a band that’s been around for half as long. They played as if to show that they were not complacent with their standing as forefathers of modern indie rock, that they had something else to show the world.
Opening up with “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” off 2005’s Plans was a perfect metaphor for what the evening would become, a trip into a dark, twisted, world spun full of everything from melancholy and despair to elation and grandeur. The band continued from there with cuts from the majority of their albums, reaching as far back as 1998’s Something About Airplanes, their first album.
The eighteen song set, along with a two song encore gave fans exactly what they were looking for, a set that could either give you tears of sorrow or tears of joy depending on the way you looked at it.
That is in essence “Death Cab for Cutie,” a band that, depending on your view, can make your cry or shout for joy all in the same song.