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  • Death Cab For Cutie/Tegan & Sara/The New Pornographers @ The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles 7/6/09 1
Tags: / Credit: Andrew Youssef
Death Cab For Cutie

While we spent our Independence weekend in very lo-fi environs, Death Cab For Cutie hosted a ritzier affair, inviting fellow indie rock darlings Tegan & Sara and the New Pornos to open their show with the LA Philharmonic, conducted by Beck’s dad David Campbell, at the Hollywood Bowl. Quoth the LA Times:

[A]s the Los Angeles Philharmonic backed Death Cab during its final tune, “Transatlanticism,” Gibbard didn’t need words to help us imagine the pyrotechnics. They were exploding directly over his head.

Awesome! But then:

Yet for all its literal and lyrical fireworks, Sunday’s concert was woefully short on the figurative kind; Death Cab’s hard-won competence ensured a solid show but also a somewhat dull one, with little of the fanfare you’d expect from a band making its Hollywood Bowl debut.

Bummer! Oh well. These shots from photographer Andrew Youssef make it look fairly epic, at least. We’ve got some video too…

Comments (26)
  1. Well, he also makes Goldfinger live look epic. That’s a good band photographer for you…

  2. Mike  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2009 0

    I was there. So much hype over nothing. Dull Show.

  3. James R.  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2009 0

    Agreed on the dullness. The fireworks were amazing, but they didn’t start until the last song. Before then, DCFC’s set had been pretty blah. It seemed very under-rehearsed.

    I didn’t expect it, but besides the fireworks, Tegan and Sara kind of stole the show. They sounded great and were really really funny and charming. I felt compelled to finally check out their music. The new pornos sounded alright too. Not funny though.

  4. www  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2009 0

    I love how when Beck started out he claimed he was this poor kid from the dirty streets of L.A. and he was sooooo poor. Strange that he always left out the part about his father being the most in demand conductor/arranger in the L.A. music biz.

    Beck, you are a total phony.

    And. DCFC suck shit.

  5. Tegan and Sara definitely stole the show. DCFC were very underwhelming. Great for people who had never seen them or the LA Phil before, but a huge let down after The Decemberists and the LA Phil a couple summers ago.

  6. John  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2009 0

    I have really liked nearly every Death Cab for Cutie album and EP. I have been a long time fan. However, they are probably my most liked band that I have absolutely no desire to see live again. I have seen them perform live twice. They were at different Chicago venues, and both times the band performed good sets lifelessly. They had little stage presence, very little commentary (amusing or insightful) between songs, very little interaction with the crowd, few physical movements besides playing their instruments and singing. They just stood up there and played the songs so they sounded “just like the album,” which usually makes me cringe but I’d be okay with if the band made up for it with an engaging show So, I’m not surprised how unenthusiastic the responses have been to this show. I know the feeling.

    • I saw Death Cab at First Ave in Minneapolis in 2003 and the live show was INCREDIBLE. They really conveyed that emotion from their songs. I was impressed. Then, I saw them at the House of Blues in Las Vegas in 2004….and their show was completely flat. Didn’t even talk to to audience, their songs sounded bland. I don’t know what happened between 2003 and 2004….but it looks like it hasn’t become any better. That is sad, because they are such an amazing band.

  7. StarFox  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2009 0

    Maybe it was because I kind of expected a dull show, or at least one that did not fill the Bowl’s epic environs, but I thought Death Cab rocked it. They were far more alive and boisterous and loud than I expected. The first half was relentless with stunning guitar work, crisp basslines and a singer who probably didn’t need that last Red Bull. The show changed it up with the philharmonic which suited them well, if a little rough around the edges.

    And closing the show with the complete mastery of Transatlanticism accompanied by leftover fireworks and strings made for one of the best Bowl finales I have ever seen. It was a great night under the stars.

    And Tegan and Sara completely surprised with a lively and funny set.

  8. thats a bummer i was hoping death cab would do an awesome show
    great blog and post!

  9. Dane  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

    “lo-fi environs”

    Amrit, please don’t write words anymore. The way you write is embarrassing. I can read the first sentence or two of a Stereogum post and immediately tell it’s you. Your writing is distinctive in the worst way possible. You don’t sound hip or clever, you just sound like an idiot.

    • that phrase was actually meant to be linked to what we did on the 4th, which was a lo-fi rock festival, so i appreciate you pointing that out. as for the rest, i can’t promise i won’t write words as it is my job to edit our sites, but i promise to remain distinctive.

  10. Well Hung Ike  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

    I really don’t get the hype, interest or accolades supporting Death Cab For Cutie. Their music sounds like mediocre outtakes from “The Unforgettable Fire” (the likes of which even Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and U2 were wise enough to leave unreleased) with suburban 4th grade poetry as the lyrics.

    And yes, Beck Hansen is a phony. And a clever one at that.

    The real question is, which of these music blogs is covering the Billy Squier show in Atlantic City on July 11th? Maybe it’s because he wasn’t a cliche 80s party animal; or that he’s been laying low & backing up Ringo Starr for the last few years; or that he personally gardens and maintains 20 acres of land in Central Park – but he seriously sounds amazing these days live. I’m not even fucking off, being cheeky or ironic here. Couldn’t be more excited for this show. Putting the “R” back in Rock.

  11. Sugar Tits  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

    HALL and OATES rock harder then DCFC.

    • Get Real Paid  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

      Tom Petty is to Big Star what H+O is to Shuggie Otis’ ‘Inspiration Information”…

  12. Greg  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

    The Finale looked pretty amazing to me…

  13. austin  |   Posted on Jul 7th, 2009 0

    FINALLY the bassist got rid of that hairstyle that looked like horns growing out of his forehead!

    the horns in their prime:

  14. so death cab deserves an orchestra and fireworks now?

  15. nick  |   Posted on Jul 8th, 2009 0

    and the new pornographers continue to tread new waters of mediocre.

  16. Tony  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2009 0

    I love Tegan and uh..the other one.

  17. lola  |   Posted on Jul 12th, 2009 0

    Beck may be a phony (not sure about that one). But when Beck was growing up, his father hadn’t attained the success he has today. (Remember, Beck is 39 now!) And Beck lived part of the time with his mom and stepdad, who weren’t doing anywhere near as well as his dad. I admit, though, Beck did get a lot of mileage out of his “impoverished” youth as “the only white kid in the barrio.”

  18. Farmer Ted  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 0

    This could be one of the worst concerts ever.
    I thought Los Angeles was cooler.
    Those poeople are good people out there.
    They desreve better.

    Brooklyn wouldn’t put up with this.

    -Farmer Ted

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