There were two kinds of fans at Death Cab For Cutie’s maiden show in Kuala Lumpur last weekend, presented by the folks from Good Vibes.
First, there were the patient ones. These were the people who endured hours of waiting in line to get into the concert venue at KL Live.
The opening act was local band Kyoto Protocol, who did a great job warming up the audience by mixing up its set. The band played everything from fan favourites Gimme Nothing and KL I Love You to rocking dangdut cover Rindu. Surprisingly, it ended its energetic set with the slow solemn number When You’re Gone, perhaps the band’s way of preparing the audience for the main act’s signature blend of moody and melancholic tunes.
When the American band – which consists of vocalist Ben Gibbard, guitarist Nick Harmer and drummer Jason McGerr – finally took the stage at 9.30pm (an hour after Kyoto Protocol), it kicked off the show with No Room In Frame. Unfortunately, Death Cab For Cutie had to stop the show after the third song, the jaded number Why You’d Want To Live Here, due to technical difficulties. The sound system was so bad that Gibbard’s vocals couldn’t be projected clearly to the audience.
The patient lot were in good spirits and continued the waiting game. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Death Cab For Cutie to return, rewarding the audience’s unwavering patience with Black Sun, the brilliant lead single of latest album Kintsugi.
The crowd also got into a singalong frenzy during the band’s performance of signature songs I Will Follow You Into The Dark (you’d be surprised to hear how a morbid number like this could sound like The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love) and I Will Possess Your Heart.
No, I Will Keep You In My Dungeon is not an actual Death Cab For Cutie song.
Gibbard was clearly in tune with what the fans liked. When he introduced Soul Meets Body, he prepped the crowd by saying the song has a lot of singalong parts.
It was during the performance of Passenger Seat that the second type of fans at a Death Cab For Cutie concert emerged – the angsty ones. For this subdued song, Gibbard put down his guitar and performed on the keyboards with just the spotlight shining on him. Some decided to help set up a sentimental mood by turning on their phone’s blinding flashlight and holding it up in the air. That did not go down well with some of the concertgoers, prompting a whole lot of loud distracting shouts of “turn that off!”, and “shut up!” going down during the performance.
So much for good vibes, eh?
Technical difficulties and bad audience behaviour may have dampened the experience of some at the concert, especially for the patient lot, but not to worry – the band seemed unfazed by it all.
By the time it closed the two-hour show with the hugely popular Translanticism, the good-natured Gibbard had hinted that Death Cab For Cutie will definitely be back in Malaysia one day.
So just be patient, alright?