SANTA MONICA, California — Death Cab for Cutie treated about 150 fans to a private performance Thursday night. The tiny show took place at legendary producer/mixer Bob Clearmountain’s Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica, California.
If you weren’t one of the lucky few to attend the intimate affair, don’t fret: Local public radio station and tastemaker KCRW served as the evening’s host and will air the performance on the November 1 episode of “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” It will be available in KCRW’s archives the same day.
The cozy space was a perfect setting for the Seattle quartet’s lush melodies. While the room was small, Death Cab didn’t seem to scale down their performance one bit, playing as if they were onstage at an arena.
They opened their 10-song set with “Crooked Teeth,” off 2005’s Plans. Many of the songs that followed were from the band’s recent release, Codes and Keys, including “You Are a Tourist” and “Stay Young, Go Dancing.”
About halfway through the set, the band sat down with KCRW DJ Anne Litt for a Q&A, which will also air on the “MBE” episode in November. The band chatted about the inspiration behind the lyrics in “You Are a Tourist,” books they’re reading and being enthralled by the Foo Fighters’ stage presence — something they witnessed firsthand after opening for them. It was their ability to absolutely own the stage that singer Ben Gibbard said he admired most about the Foos, who were doing just that across town Thursday night, playing to a sold-out crowd at the Forum.
Death Cab ended with a two-song encore, or “noncore,” which Gibbard said happens when a stage is too small for a band to exit before returning. Despite the tiny venue, the band did its best to make the audience feel like it was in an arena.