Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Camden. Tuesday night. There's a queue outside the Electric Ballroom composed of possibly the most endearingly indie looking group of people I've ever seen in my life. A group I feel perfectly at home in. The touts are all struggling with the name of the night's headline act: Death Cab For Cutie. The modern poster boys for US Indie, thanks to being the soundtrack to many an emotional scene on The OC. But let's not judge them harshly for that...
I approach the gig with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. I worry that their delicate sound simply won't cut it live, that the level of anticipation in the room will ultimately be too great. But I am very pleasantly surprised. They rock, and I mean really rock, on several numbers. And the ballads come across well, perfectly suited to this wonderful venue. I'm only really familiar with the material from The Photo Album and Transatlanticism, but even the new songs are greeted with whups of joy from an electric audience.
Like Amelie staring back at people in the cinema, I love nothing more than staring back into the upturned, wide-eyed faces of fans, totally entranced by a band onstage. Plaid shirted fellows and doe-eyed girls are all transfixed by the band who really do seem to have some kind of magical aura around them tonight. The girls can barely see past the haircuts in front of us, but they don't really care. I spot a friend of a friend who beams at me, and for a while I'm stood next to the frontman of a UK band with at least one #1 album under their belts, who is as bewitched by the band in front of him as everyone else in the room.
They close with the heartbreaking 'Transatlanticism'. It's a song I chose as one of my desert island discs a year ago, but I can't pretend it's meaning hasn't changed immensely since then. The emotions it stirs under my skin remind me just why I live for moments like these. The song will mean something different to every person in the room, but we are all unified by the moment.
So come on...
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