Tucked against the foothills of the Santa Barbara mountains, a small amphitheater played host to a night filled with the nostalgia charged lyricisms of one of indie-rock’s greatest success stories.
Since the late 90’s, Death Cab For Cutie have captured the elusive heartache and angst of a wayward generation, and last Saturday night two decades worth of fans packed the Santa Barbara Bowl to sing along to the tunes that soundtracked their adolescence.
From old classics like “Crooked Teeth” and “Bixby Canyon Bridge,” the night was a throwback for much of the crowd, much of which was made up of 20 and 30-somethings old enough to remember when those singles first came out.
The nostalgia was heavy, but the night was not without its own magic; just after the chorus line of “Soul Meets Body” which the crowd enthusiastically sang along to, a bright meteor seemingly broke up high above the bowl, exploding in a brief but fiery stream of red light.
Performances of “What Sarah Said” and “Transantlanticism,” the latter of which closed the night in a three song encore, were extremely emotional moments that saw lead singer Ben Gibbard on the piano trading lines with fans who hummed the song’s tragic words back to him.
The band’s new album “Kitsugi” also dominated much of the night, songs like “Black Sun” and “Little Wanderer” buzzed and hummed with an upbeat surge amongst fans.
California rockers Best Coast opened the night with a short thirty minute set, playing through a majority of hits from their most recent release, “California Nights.” The unpolished grunge pop of Bethany Cosentino and Bob Bruno was greased up with additional live performers, but the duo sounded as great as ever singing their signature Californian tunes
Words & Photography: Steven Ward