Rhapsody celebrated its new DRM-freedom by renting out Hiro and inviting Ben Gibbard to perform an acoustic set. Tough crowd — I suspect many attended for free MP3tinis — and I wouldn’t say the Death Cab frontman won them over so much as the douchebag contingent dispersed to the Ballroom perimeter after a few songs. The talent anticipated worse: “This is the exact opposite of how I expected it to be,” he said after the first few songs. “You guys are actually listening.”

Ben’s songs are so cuddly and lonely. He’s like the indie rock WALL-E. But in addition to those Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service tunes, we got “Carolina” from the Home Volume V EP, and covers of Rilo Kiley, George Jones, and Stars’ “Your Ex-Loved Is Dead,” which I don’t think he’s performed before (watch it after the jump). Ben opened with my current favorite song from Narrow Stairs, “Cath,” which will be the album’s next single (scoop). Below, setlist, videos, and a photo of Ted Danson.

Photos by Shelby Chan.

01 “Cath”
02 “Title And Registration”
03 “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” (Stars cover)
04 “Brand New Colony”
05 “Carolina”
06 “Grapevine Fires”
07 “Silver Lining” (Rilo Kiley cover)
08 “Photobooth”
09 “405″
10 “We Looked Like Giants”
11 “She Thinks I Still Care” (George Jones cover)
12 “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”

“Your Ex-Loved Is Dead”

“Silver Lining”

“She Thinks I Still Care”

Comments (26)
  1. lovethegibbs  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    i bet he hasn’t had to deal with that chatty of an audience in ages. probably brought back old times.

  2. james  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    Grapevine Fires is one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. Such a great song.

    I bet that crowd was annoying as hell.

  3. i realized recently that it’s best to listen to songs about documentation and heartbreak in the glove compartment in the privacy of my own room.

  4. ted danson + beard

  5. justin  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    i can’t believe he covered Your Ex Lover Is Dead

  6. I would murder for an mp3 of Your Ex Lover Is Dead.

  7. this show wasn’t nearly as chatty from where i was sitting…

  8. mp3tini….wow.

  9. Evan  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    no surprise here, Gibbard’s cover of Silver-Lining is better than Rilo-kileys version. Well, I mean, that whole album DID suck pretty bad.

  10. buns  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    I like the Gib as much as the next guy but I wasn’t sold on clicking the “continue reading” button (I’m sorry I dont know the proper term). That is until I was teased with the inclusion of a Ted Danson photo. Needless to say I was not disappointed.

  11. bly  |   Posted on Jul 1st, 2008 0

    please. shave. the. chops.

  12. Liked the cover of that Stars song – not too keen on the mutton chops.

  13. slide  |   Posted on Jul 2nd, 2008 0

    There was admittedly alot of blackberry action from the crowd. I really almost punched the dumb blonde who was trying to chat up the DJ durring Ben’s set…. incessant squawker. But other than that, incredible show. He played almost every song I could have wanted to hear. And he’s just so endearing. I somehow missed Ted Danson.

  14. yo  |   Posted on Jul 2nd, 2008 0

    Worst. Gift. Bag. Ever.

  15. fifi  |   Posted on Jul 2nd, 2008 0

    there were a lot of jappy girls there who were much more interested in John Krasinski (aka Jim from the Office) who was also in attendance

  16. Pete  |   Posted on Jul 2nd, 2008 0

    More mp3s of this show!!!!

  17. Winthropfist  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2008 0

    They duped all you guys!
    That’s definitely Matthew Sweet doing a Ben Gibbard impersonation……

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  19. it makes me sad that Rhapsody apparently did not record this performance for their Live Performances section, or that no one bootlegged it. Given the spirit of the event (Music freedom/etc), it almost makes it more funny than sad, but sad still wins out because that would be an amazing set to hear acoustically.


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