As the sun set on Bellingham’s Civic Stadium May 18, on this cool, early summer evening, Death Cab For Cutie and Odesza took the hold of the 13,000 strong sold out crowd that had gathered to hear their hometown heroes.
It was a fitting scene for a show headlined by two of the biggest music acts to come out of the northwest.
‘Cutie’ has been entertaining Washingtonians for twenty years now, and starting with their 2003 release ‘Transalanticism’ they rocketed into mainstream popularity where they’ve stayed ever since.
On the same bill was Odesza, and while newer and based more in the electronic dance style, they share the same origin point as ‘Cutie’ in Bellingham, specifically the nearby Western Washington University.
Despite the common origin ground, the two groups have never shared a billing until now. Odesza commented that they expected the hometown energy would be in the audience, but what they brought themselves to the stage was nothing short of magnificent.
Along with fellow local acts LipStitch, Chong the Nomad, and Robotaki warming up the headliners, ‘Cutie’ filled its set with tracks from the band’s whole career, of course including the classic acoustic ballad ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark.’
The latter finished in poignant fashion as the entirety of the band left the stage to Gibbard alone, who refrained from singing the final chorus to allow the audience to fill that role instead. As the sun was nearly gone, the sight and sound of thousands of fans singing those words together was a truly sublime moment to share.
And then Odesza took the stage, and the party really got going! To their advantage was the generally higher tempo of their work, but additionally the extraordinary light show is sure to help!
The duo act as DJs while on stage, while occasionally augmenting their electric sound with live instrumentation from trumpets, and most memorably, a full drumline.