Well, they pulled it off. One week after announcing plans to shoot a live live video for “You Are a Tourist,” the first single from their upcoming Codes and Keys album, and after a full day of slightly tense rehearsals , Death Cab for Cutie were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Not only did “Tourist” — which was shot live, with multiple cameras, in one single take and broadcast for the entire world via YouAreATourist.com (and several other sites, including MTV.com) on Tuesday night (April 5) — come off without a hitch, but Death Cab looked like they were having an absolute blast making it.
Directed by Tim Nackashi and based on a concept by frequent collaborator Aaron Stewart-Ahn, the video was artful, eye-catching and ambitious, to say the very least. Featuring an intricate, whimsical set, expert use of projections, a bevy of background actors and a dozen dancers who engaged in some seriously kaleidoscopic Busby Berkeley dance sequences, “Tourist” followed Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard and his bandmates as they wandered through the controlled madness — and wore some genuinely nifty light-up suits too.
Despite the fact that they were filming it live, there wasn’t a single noticeable screw-up. Gibbard and his mates hit all their marks (and tried their best to hide some actual “I can’t believe this is really happening grins), the dancers were perfectly synced, the cameras were on cue and, at the very end — perhaps recognizing this — everyone, from the band to Nackashi to the dancers stood in the center of the stage, clapping and cheering wildly, as Gibbard thanked everyone for their hard work.
Really, despite the fact they were doing this live before the entire world, DCFC weren’t really all that nervous — even though, as they told MTV News on Monday, the potential to screw it all up was enormous.
“I think the trick here, or the balance here, is to try to have there be a legitimate amount of choreography involved but not so much that if one thing goes wrong, the whole thing topples like a house of cards,” Gibbard laughed. “And there are some very kind-of tight moves throughout the video, but nothing that, you know, if I’m not standing here at this one point, the Rube Goldberg kind of thing falls apart and you’re standing there for the next three minutes looking like a moron.”
Luckily, that didn’t happen.
What did you think of the Death Cab video? Let us know in the comments!