When Death Cab for Cutie played a much more intimate show at the ‘Dise less than two months ago, the setlist matched the setting. Though the band was warming up for the release of its seventh album, Codes and Keys, it pulled extensively from its deep back catalog with early career gems like “Your Bruise,” “Photobooth,” “405” and “Company Calls.”
Back to a more familiar venue size for a show at the Bank of America Pavilion on Monday, the band got downright anthemic.
The extended build of “I Will Possess Your Heart” set the tone early, and though Death Cab showed off all sides of its personality over the course of its two-hour set it was the epic rockers that really carried the night. A pair of excellent early-set selections from The Photo Album was quickly overshadowed by the driving one-two punch of “Doors Unlocked and Open” and “Long Division.” A mid-set lull built around “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” was yanked to life by “The New Year.”
The packed house enthusiastically approved of a half-dozen selections from Codes and Keys, though the band pulled almost equally from its two major label predecessors, Narrow Stairs and Plans. Even as it fades further into the rearview mirror, material from Transatlanticism continues to provide the emotional backbone for Death Cab’s live sets. Though “We Might Be Giants” was a tad over-wrought toward the end of the main set, “Expo ’86” lent the encore understated heft and that album’s enthralling title track continues to be one of the best – if not most predictable – show closers out there.
Death Cab’s new Atlantic label-mates, longtime FiTi favorite Frightened Rabbit, clearly still holds fond memories of its own sold-out headlining date at the ‘Dise its last time through town in the fall. The Scottish quartet touched on all three of its albums during its nine-song set and unveiled a new track, “Scottish Winds,” from a tour-only EP that unfortunately was already sold out before the band got to Boston (listen to the three new tracks via Music Savage).
Death Cab for Cutie’s Setlist:
I Will Possess Your Heart / Crooked Teeth / Why You’d Want to Live Here / A Movie Script Ending / Doors Unlocked and Open / Long Division / Grapevine Fires / Codes and Keys / What Sarah Said / I Will Follow You Into the Dark / You are a Tourist / The New Year / Underneath the Sycamore / Title and Registration / Soul Meets Body / Stay Young, Go Dancing / Cath… / We Looked Like Giants / The Sound of Settling // Home is a Fire / Expo ’86 / Marching Bands of Manhattan / Transatlanticism
Frightened Rabbit’s Setlist:
The Modern Leper / Nothing Like You / Old Old Fashioned / Music Now / Scottish Wind / Swim Until You Can’t See Land / My Backwards Walk / Living in Colour / The Loneliness and the Scream
Death Cab for Cutie: