Ben Gibbard, frontman for Death Cab for Cutie and one half of the Postal Service, is rarely out there, musically, on his own. So when I heard about his solo tour months ago, I immediately snatched up tickets.
Along for the ride were the superb and cheeky Johnathan Rice and the raw and powerful David Bazan, formerly of the exceptionally awesome Pedro the Lion. The three men came out, guitars blazing, for a simple, acoustic evening with a ’70s folk community feeling in UCLA’s majestic Royce Hall.
On a sparse stage, dominated by a grand piano, was a table with a desk lamp, a microphone and a man with his guitar. Gibbard was kind enough to cover his musical spectrum starting with “We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes” and “The Photo Booth” and playing tracks from the more popular Transatlanticism and the Postal Service’s Give Up. He also played the comfy “You Remind me of Home” from his acoustic Home split with American Analog Set’s Andrew Kenny.
His stripped down cover of the Squeeze’s “Up the Junction” on the piano was amazing. We were also lucky enough to get the rarely performed Postal Service’s “Nothing Better,” in which Jenny Lewis stepped out to lend her side of the story to their fictional break up.
For his encore, in true folk style, Gibbard gathered his friends on stage. Both Rice and Bazan reappeared, along with frequent collaborators and L.A. locals Jenny Lewis and a bashful Jimmy Tamborello (of Dntel and the Postal Service), and together they sang the chorus of “Such Great Heights.”
Music: Live Show Reviews
Ben Gibbard (5/17/07): May 17 @ Royce Hall, UCLA
By Chris Tsuyuki
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Article posted on 5/30/2007
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