Wednesday, July 8, 2009

death cab for cutie at the hollywood bowl

on sunday, ryan, max, my mom, and i piled into max's jetta and headed to the hollywood bowl for a concert featuring death cab for cutie with the la philharmonic. i am a sucker for indie rock with added strings, so as soon as i heard this concert was in the works, i bought (asked ryan to buy) 4 tickets. it was my mom's belated birthday gift (who has a birthday on december 24th and expects not to be slighted every time?).

we had kind of nosebleed seats, but we rented 75 cent seat cushions and had a picnic of turkey sandwiches, potato chips (of course they're organic- this isn't a tailgate party), lemonade, chocolate chip cookies, and tiny bottles of wine. someone forgets the wine glasses, and now it looks like a tailgate party.

opening for dcfc were the new pornographers (no, their music sounds nothing like you would expect from their name...actually, what would you expect from that name?) and tegan and sara. i'd heard of t&s, but never been conscious of what their music sounded like. turns out, i'd heard a few songs on tv (grey's, the hills, one tree hill, etc.). the other music they played was really good, and probably will be even better once i've heard it a few times and can hum along. they were also hilarious with their between song banter, describing their mother's first visit to la (it's not as pretty as she thought it would be. i mean, it's pretty here. she's not staying in the pretty part. i won't say where that is, in case some of you are from there), and their jokingly outing her as a closeted lesbian for "getting fresh" with a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like working Hollywood Boulevard.

it was my second time seeing dcfc, and ryan, max, and lorelai's first. (if you're reading this, and you're like, "lorelai? her name's andrea," or if you're my mom and confused about your true identity, watch the entire dvd boxed set of gilmore girls. it'll explain everything. actually, if you're my mom, you already know i call you that, but i bet you'll bring it up after you read this, anyway.) we wondered if the people at the top of the hill above the hollywood bowl could hear the concerts from their house, and concluded, probably. the lights dimmed when dcfc came out, and they played for about 30 minutes, only breaking between songs to say, "thank you for coming," and, "give it up for tegan and sara." what we were wondering is why were there 50 chairs set up behind them, and where was the orchestra. we thought maybe they cancelled without telling us.

i noted that ben gibbard, the lead singer for dcfc, had lost some weight. i just went to google "ben gibbard..." and one of the first suggestions is "ben gibbard lost weight"--apparently the blogosphere noticed, too. somewhere between marching bands of manhattan and i will possess your heart, i remembered he's engaged to zooey deschanel. and then i remembered she's my favorite.

if i'd been with different people, i'd have dragged them around the venue to find this actress/songwriter/fiancee. sigh. those times ended long ago, and really, this isn't the roxy. have any of you ever hiked up the hill to the hollywood bowl? i'd rather not scale it all night, weaving in and out of incredibly long bathroom/beer lines. so, i saved a sprained ankle and stayed in my seat. besides, we had no camera and didn't stop at rite-aid to buy a disposable- you'd have thought we learned our lesson with alex greenwald and the too-dark-to-see-who's-in-the-picture iphone disaster of 2008. i swear, if i ever meet zac efron and i'm cameraless...

after the sound of settling, ben announced they'd be back in a few with "50 of their closest friends." they returned with i will follow you into the dark, complete with ben on acoustic guitar, backed by an orchestra. with a chorus of,

"if heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, illuminate the 'nos' on their vacancy signs/ if there's no one beside you when your soul embarks, then i will follow you into the dark,"

that song is a tear jerker even without the violins in the background. i definitely got watery-eyed, but i passed it off as yawning. i have been known to sob uncontrollably at concerts, though (chris martin, i'm talking to you).

also on the list of orchestra accompanied songs were grapevine fires, which was one we waited for all night, soul meets body, my ringtone for the last 4 years and maybe forever, and title and registration, with the most logical lyrics of all:

"the glove compartment isn't accurately named, and everybody knows it/ so i'm proposing a swift, orderly change, cause behind those doors, there's nothing to keep my fingers warm, and all i find are souvenirs from better times.."

why is she typing out song lyrics? this is supposed to be "design by the sea". simple- i'm trying to culture you.

the last song they played was transatlanticism. it would ordinarily not be the most thrilling finale song, at nearly 8 minutes long, it's one i usually skip through after 3 minutes or so. this time, there were theatrics involved. coinciding with the music, a 5 minute fireworks show from behind the stage. you really have to watch the whole thing to get the effect, as the fireworks change when the music does. it was pretty breathtaking, (executed with "disney precision," ryan and i agreed) and reminded me of watching fireworks as a kid. it was hollywood magic.

to wrap up this short story turned editorial, some of the songs were amazing (summer skin, cath, grapevine fires), likely in part because i have a strong connection with those songs, and i really felt them. some of the songs were not as great. they lacked some energy, and i'd have liked some more interaction with the crowd. they have such an extensive catalog, they were bound to leave out some favorites (we looked like giants, for what reason). despite any shortcomings, the show was amazing. one of my favorite concert experiences ever, wrapped up in pyrotechnics.

No comments:

Post a Comment