Live review: Death Cab for Cutie, Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot

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Death Cab for Cutie, Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot

Belk Arena at Davidson College

April 9, 2009

Photos coming soon!

The Deal: Washington-based indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie drew a sold-out crowd to Davidson College’s Belk Area for its performance. Opening acts included indie bands, the New York-based Ra Ra Riot and California-based group Cold War Kids.

The Good: Ra Ra Riot started with a short-but-sweet, 25-minute set of spacey rock songs. What really made the group stand out were the extra elements of sounds from instruments like the cello and violin.

Next to hit the stage was Cold War Kids. The group started its set with “We Used To Vacation,” a track which really set the scene of what could be expected during the group's entire set: Lots of sounds going off in entirely different directions, yet coming together. At times, the electric guitar would wail off and sound slightly out of place, but the next second it suddenly fit into the soundscrape, leaving one to wonder, "How did they think to do that?" Songs like “Mexican Dogs” and “I’ve Seen Enough” had bouncy beats, while others like “Hang Me Up To Dry,” had a bit of a garage rock-esqe style. The band finished with “Hospital Beds,” and even got the audience clapping along.

Finally, Death Cab for Cutie emerged and kicked-off with “The Employment Pages,” from its 2000 sophomore album We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes. The band played at least one track from all six of its full-length studio albums and its newest EP, The Open Door. Many songs featured melodic melodies set to rockin’ sounds, but the band slowed down as well, including during the touching play of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” a cover of Ben Gibbard's acoustic ballad. Other highlights included “Your Heart Is An Empty Room,” “The New Year,” “I Will Possess Your Heart” and “Soul Meets Body,” among many others. The group returned for a four-song encore and finished with “Transatlanticism,” having played a total of 20 songs, which resulted in a purely satisfying performance.

The Bad: Nothing. The show was great. Both opening acts are those to keep on the music radar, while Death Cab for Cutie gave fans more than what they probably bargained for with a long set of songs from all of its music eras.

The Verdict: An excellent show. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of these acts live, don’t turn it down.

Cold War Kids' setlist

We Used to Vacation

Dreams Old Men Dream

Mexican Dogs

Hang Me Up to Dry

Every Man I Fall For

I've Seen Enough

Coffee Spoon

Relief

Something Is Not Right With Me

Hospital Beds

Death Cab for Cutie's setlist

The Employment Pages

Your Heart is an Empty Room

The New Year

Crooked Teeth

A Movie Script Ending

My Mirror Speaks

Company Calls

Grapevine Fires

I Will Follow You Into the Dark

I Will Possess Your Heart

Title and Registration

Cath

Face Frowns

Long Division

The Sound of Settling

Marching Bands of Manhattan

Encore

What Sarah Said

Little Bribes

Soul Meets Body

Transatlanticism

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