Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service took fans back in time as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of their hit albums “Give Up” and “Transatlanticism” with an electric performance at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday.
The bands, both led by frontman Ben Gibbard, hit the road in 2023 to celebrate their albums, which were released two decades ago.
The groups reached Los Angeles this week to perform three sold-out shows at what Ben called “the best venue in the f***ing world” on Oct. 13, 15, and 17.
The two-hour concert started with a one-hour set from Death Cab for Cutie, who was dressed in all black, as they performed their fourth album, “Transatlanticsm,” in full.
Although the setlist was foretold, small surprises still elevated the performance—from Ben experimenting with his vocals to the beautiful acoustic version of “A Lack of Color,” which prompted a singalong from fans.
After a 15-minute intermission, Ben hit the stage again, dressed in white, alongside Jenny Lewis and Jimmy Tamborello, who make up the group The Postal Service.
The audience came alive, dancing underneath the stars as The Postal Service performed a one-hour set where they played all 10 songs from their only album, “Give Up.”
Ben also delivered an electric performance during his second set! The Postal Service’s sound is more upbeat than Death Cab for Cuties after all, and it looked like the 47-year-old had a blast belting out hits “Such Great Heights” and “Brand New Colony.” He even hoped on a live drum set to kick things up a notch.
But he also knew when to slow things down. At one point Ben asked the 17,000 fans in attendance to sing the outro of “Brand New Colony” with him, which created an intimate moment with the band and the crowd.
The concert seemed just as nostalgic for the bands as it was for the audience.
“Thank you for spending your Sunday with us. You can’t begin to imagine how much this means to us,” Ben said. “We never thought we’d be here playing for you guys 20 years ago…Thank you for keeping these albums alive for years.”
It’s no surprise Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service have stood the test of time; their respective albums did leave a significant mark on pop culture in 2003 after all.
The Postal Service’s song “Such Great Heights,” was a megahit, appearing in both movies and television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Death Cab for Cutie’s “Transatlanticsm” was their breakout album that skyrocketed the band to mainstream success in the early 2000s. The group was even mentioned in an episode of the hit teen drama “The O.C.”
It was only fitting that they ended their concert Sunday night with one final nostalgic surprise—an encore. Ben and Jenny returned to the stage to sing an acoustic duet of “Such Great Heights.” Ben then invited his Death Cab for Cutie bandmates to join the Postal Service for a rendition of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”