Ticket to ride

Death Cab For Cutie gave fans a whole lot of good vibes at their first ever KL gig.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - By ANGELIN YEOH en­ter­tain­ment@ thes­tar. com. my

THERE were two kinds of fans at Death Cab For Cutie’s maiden show in Kuala Lumpur last week­end, pre­sented by the folks from Good Vibes.

First, there were the pa­tient ones. Th­ese were the peo­ple who en­dured hours of wait­ing in line to get into the con­cert venue at KL Live at Jalan Sul­tan Is­mail, KL.

The open­ing act was lo­cal band Ky­oto Pro­to­col, who did a great job warm­ing up the au­di­ence by mix­ing up its set. The band played ev­ery­thing from fan favourites Gimme Noth­ing and KL I Love You to rock­ing dang­dut cover Rindu. Sur­pris­ingly, they ended their en­er­getic set with slow solemn num­ber When You’re Gone, per­haps their way of pre­par­ing the au­di­ence for the main act’s sig­na­ture blend of moody and melan­cholic tunes.

When the Amer­i­can band – which con­sists of vo­cal­ist Ben Gib­bard, gui­tarist Nick Harmer and drum­mer Ja­son McGerr – fi­nally took the stage at 9.30pm ( an hour af­ter Ky­oto Pro­to­col), they kicked off the show with No Room In Frame. Un­for­tu­nately, they had to stop the show af­ter the third song, the jaded num­ber Why You’d Want To Live Here, due to tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties. The sound sys­tem was so bad that Gib­bard’s vo­cals couldn’t be pro­jected clearly to the au­di­ence.

The pa­tient lot were in good spir­its and con­tin­ued the wait­ing game. Thank­fully, it didn’t take long for Death Cab For Cutie to re­turn, re­ward­ing the au­di­ence’s un­wa­ver­ing pa­tience with Black Sun, the bril­liant lead sin­gle of lat­est al­bum Kintsugi.

The crowd also got into a sin­ga­long frenzy dur­ing the band’s per­for­mance of sig­na­ture songs I Will Fol­low You Into The Dark ( you’d be sur­prised to hear how a mor­bid num­ber like this could sound like The Bea­tles’ All You Need Is Love) and I Will Pos­sess Your Heart. No, I Will Keep You In My Dun­geon is not an ac­tual Death Cab For Cutie song.

Gib­bard was clearly in tune with what the fans liked. When he in­tro­duced Soul Meets Body, he prepped the crowd by say­ing the song has a lot of sin­ga­long parts.

It was dur­ing the per­for­mance of Pas­sen­ger Seat that the se­cond type of fans at a Death Cab For Cutie con­cert emerged – the angsty ones. For this sub­dued song, Gib­bard put down his gui­tar and per­formed on the key­boards with just the spot­light shin­ing on him. Some de­cided to help set up a sen­ti­men­tal mood by turn­ing on their phone’s blind­ing flash­light and hold­ing it up in the air. That did not go down well with some con­cert go­ers, prompt­ing a whole lot of loud dis­tract­ing shouts of “turn that off!”, and “shut up!” went down dur­ing the per­for­mance. So much for good vibes, eh? Tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties and bad au­di­ence be­hav­iour may have damp­ened the ex­pe­ri­ence of some at the con­cert, es­pe­cially for the pa­tient lot, but not to worry – the band seemed un­fazed by it all.

By the time they closed the two- hour show with the hugely pop­u­lar Translan­ti­cism, the good- na­tured Gib­bard had hinted that Death Cab For Cutie will def­i­nitely be back in Malaysia one day. So just be pa­tient, al­right?

1 Gib­bard was clearly in tune with what the fans liked.

— Pho­tos: All Is Amaz­ing

2 he toned things down by play­ing solo on some of the songs.


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