Death Cab for Cutie Brings Classic Hits, Teases New Music at 713 Music Hall in Houston (pics, setlist, review)

Death Cab for Cutie @ 713 Music Hall

Indie-rock icons Death Cab for Cutie have had a career spanning a quarter of a century, with years worth of releases that have influenced a generation of moody teens to pick up a guitar. Ben Gibbard and co. stopped by the 713 Music Hall in Houston, Texas on the second stop of their tour after the releases of The Blue EP and The Georgia EP. 

Mini Trees @ 713 Music Hall

LA-based Mini Trees opened the show, the project of singer-songwriter Lexi Vega. Vega, on stage, expressed how ecstatic she is to be opening for the influential Seattle band, which undoubtedly must be a full circle moment for the young artist. Mini Trees is signed to Run For Cover records, notable for contemporary emo bands like Modern Baseball and Teen Suicide, but their sound is more indie rock a la Japanese Breakfast and Petal. 

Having grown up a Moody Teenager, Death Cab for Cutie has been the soundtrack to a good amount of my formative years. Ben Gibbard and co’s lyricism has evolved over the years to transcend my despondent angst into more mature songwriting over the past few years on their latest releases. With the band’s last release in 2020, Death Cab utilized their stage time playing absolute classics starting with “I Will Possess Your Heart” from the 2008 record “Narrow Stairs” to introduce the band members on stage with its slow burn composition seeing one member after another step on stage. Death Cab is performing as tight as ever, with a solid hour and a half of classics from “Transatlanticism” and “Plans.” The back-to-back punch of the cathartic hospital deathbed love ballad “What Sarah Said” played right into Gibbard leading a sing-along of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” solo, with a flood of white light only behind him like the gates of St. Peter.

However, the band also teased a new album which has now been unveiled as “asphalt meadows” set to be released on September 16th later this year. Between gesturing towards new songs, the band dug into some classics like “Company Calls” and its epilogue from “We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes” which helped bring the band to the indie forefront in 2000. With a decades-long career, the band saw original producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Walla depart the band after the release of their 2015 record “Kintsugi.” To support the layers of sound Walla performed live, members Dave Depper and Zac Rae were added on guitars and keyboards, respectively. With their debut on the album “Thank You For Today” the track “Northern Lights” was represented, but the setlist plays primarily on nostalgia, which we may see on the band’s upcoming tour after the release of “asphalt meadows.” Ben Gibbard and Zac Rae entered the stage first for the encore of “Passenger Seat” with Gibbard adorning a middle finger to Texas’ enemy to human rights, Governor Greg Abbott with a shirt that riffs on the Lone Star State’s slogan saying “Don’t Mess With Trans Kids” to rapturous audience applause.

Full Death Cab for Cutie Gallery Here

I Will Possess Your Heart
The New Year
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive
Doors Unlocked and Open
Title and Registration
Crooked Teeth
Company Calls
Company Calls Epilogue
What Sarah Said
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Kids in ’99
Black Sun
Northern Lights
We Laugh Indoors
Soul Meets Body
Bixby Canyon Bridge

Passenger Seat
You Are a Tourist

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