With an overall relaxed lineup, Alt 103\’s Deck the Hall Ball set a cozy tone for December on the first of the month. Unfortunately, most concert-goers showed up only to catch headliner Death Cab For Cutie, missing the phenomenal openers, Cold War Kids and Grizfolk.
The former, preparing for their upcoming tour and hot off the release of their first full-length album, was faced with a sparsely populated theater. Once they stopped trying to engage the crowd, however, they managed to effectively find their rhythm in this frustrating situation. Cold War Kids, veterans in the industry, performed with their usual finesse and intensity as fans started filling up the seats.
In terms of stage presence for the Death Cab for Cutie set, there wasn\’t much intensity to be reported. Everyone on stage was very much invested in the music, but with instrumentals as chill as theirs come off to be, there just wasn\’t much theatricality or liveliness they could put into it. This is not, of course, to say they weren\’t into it; it was just more of a quiet energy.
The set was a surprisingly mixed bag from their wide range of work. Choosing only 13-15 songs from eight albums and a total of 17 years of experience would seem threatening, but Death Cab chose to represent all their albums fairly equally. Kintsugi did get slightly more attention, it does contain two of their hottest tracks and is to be expected.
The surprising component of the show was the audience. Because Death Cab for Cutie has been around since \’97, it was expected the median age of the crowd would be in the late 20\’s. The original fans, however, were mixed throughout a considerable population of college-aged kids who likely got into Death Cab after they started getting more radio play. The age of the performers (which is now approaching 40 for many of them) did little to intimidate younger faces from coming out.
A sold-out Murat theater at Old National Center posed some high expectations, but no one left disappointed. As experienced musicians almost always do, Death Cab for Cutie delivered, and Indy was more than happy to receive.