Death Cab for Cutie delight Auckland Arts Festival crowd with 2hr show

All the cool kids came out to see US band Death Cab for Cutie last night at the Civic, as part of Auckland Arts Festival.  For one night only, this post-grunge, uber-slick, uber-hip Seattle band delighted their NZ fans with a more-than-your-money’s-worth perfectly executed rock show.

The gig started with us all very politely seated in the majestic Civic Theatre. The band came out and performed two tracks before addressing us and thankfully inviting everyone to get out of their seats and come down to the front. Now we had a gig atmosphere. The brilliant ‘Gold Rush’ was an early catalyst to getting us fully into the bosom of Death Cab.

Throughout what turned out to be a two-hour performance, they played a mix of new and old music, all delivered against brilliantly choreographed lighting – complimenting and accompanying the drama and emotions of the night.

The Civic didn’t necessarily deliver the right level of rock ‘n roll atmosphere that this band probably requires. It all felt a bit sanitary compared to the more traditional venues that you would expect to see such a band. Some choose to remain seated and the crowd bunched up at the front meant as a group we didn’t quite unite closely as fans. However, both the band and the audience got properly warmed up after half an hour or so to make the vibe much more lively for gig-goers.

The crowd interaction from the band was relatively minimal, not that this bothered the engrossed hardcode fans who routinely took any musical gaps as an opportunity to happily heckle song requests and declare their love for these much appreciated American musical icons.

To top off the evening, the band came back on stage for a half hour encore including a beautiful performance of ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ which was met with a mass sing-a-long and rapturous cheers and applause. Suitably saturated in Death Cab lyrics and guitar riffs, we left satisfied to have been lucky enough to tick off seeing one of today’s slickest live rock bands.

Auckland Arts Festival continues until 24th March.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar.