Find Momo! Starting now, I’m gonna be posting a weekly collection of Find Momo photos I’ve shot over the previous week. Probably on Mondays, because #FindMomoMonday has a good ring to it. So, the first Find Momo Monday is on a Wednesday.
A lot of you ask me to post more Find Momo photos, and I still shoot them, but I think I’ve been waiting for a feature like Albums that lets me post a series. I think it’s more fun like this.
Locations: Okanagan, Westcoast Rugs (Kerrisdale), Grocery Store (Vancouver), KP’s Auto Body (Vancouver), Red Rocks Ampitheatre (Colorado), a cat door.
To me, I think the venue plays a huge role for the concert itself. Sure it’s all about the musician as well. But if you are in a crappy venue, then the concert won’t be as amazing as it possibly can be.
Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre / Morrison, Colorado
Before actually entering the famed concert venue, we took a leisurely 1.5 mile hike around the grounds. Located at the intersection of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, it has a unique mix of flora and fauna. The vegetation is a mixture of grasses, wildflowers, scrubby bushes and a few larger trees. There are also a fair amount of yucca and prickly pear tucked amongst the grasses.
On July 14th, 2009 two of my good friends and I packed a cooler filled with snacks and cold soda, drove over an hour down winding highways and sat in the sun for over three hours on some rocky steps. The lineup: Ra Ra Riot, Andrew Bird, and Death Cab For Cutie. The tickets: general admission. The venue: Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Morrison Colorado. Not just Red Rocks, the Red Rocks. Where the Beatles played in 1964 to an over capacity crowd (the venue holds almost 10,000). Where U2 played. Where Wide Spread Panic sold out 31 consecutive shows (don’t worry, I thought that was random too.) Where Britney Spears refused to play her sold out show in 2000 because her elaborate set wouldn’t fit. That Red Rocks. I had been there once before, but this time was different. The thing with Red Rocks is, you can shell out almost 80 dollars for a reserved seat for your favourite band, or you can shell out 30 for a general admission ticket, get there early and sit in the front row. Red Rocks caters to true fans. That day, I was in the third row.
Jump ahead a little over two years later to August 23rd, 2011. Same venue, different group of friends, slightly further back (row 9), slightly different lineup, same headliner. I was just as excited as I was two years prior, although I was a bit more hesitant. With the recent release of Death Cab For Cutie’s newest album Codes and Keys, and my slight distaste for it, I was worried I would be disappointed. I had not found a way to swallow the album yet, to accept it for what it was as a whole. To enjoy it from beginning to end. I felt the same way with Narrow Stairs but not this same extent. What if after seeing the new material live, I never wanted to go to a Death Cab show again? That seemed drastic so I tried not to dwell on it.
The set started with ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’ a good choice considering it’s lengthy intro. The set was peppered with a little bit of everything. From 'A Movie Script Ending’ from The Photo Album to 'Company Calls’ from We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes to a spattering of my favourites from Transatlanticism and Plans. Only 5 tracks from the new album were played. To no surprise, they were not as well received as the older material. Ben Gibbard’s stage presence was wonderful per usual, but something seemed to be lacking from the new songs. The audience did not really seem to know how to react, so they opted for a vertical variation of planking.
'It took 14 years, but Death Cab finally has a love song.’ Ben Gibbard said as he introduced a song from Codes and Keys called 'Stay Young Go Dancing.’
Well Ben, that is not entirely true. Aren’t most of Death Cab’s songs in fact love songs? What about 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark’? 'Marching Band of Manhattan’, 'Summer Skin’, 'Title and Registration.’ They are all about love, just not a happy side of it. I would say the majority of Death Cab for Cutie’s songs are 'love’ songs in the sense that most of them address the idea of love, however they are not the type of love songs you want to play at your wedding. 'Stay Young Go Dancing’ is a happy love song. 'When I hear her sing, it’s like a symphony.’ Alright Ben, we know you scored Zooey Deschanel, but you can tone down the cheesiness, right?
That was the only point in the set where I was a little disappointed. 'Long Divison’ off Narrow Stairs and 'Sound of Settling’ from Transatlanticism still received the largest dance responses, as they did in 2009. The crowd still got chills when Gibbard took to the stage by himself, an acoustic guitar, and a spotlight for 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark’ and ending with 'Transatlanticism’ almost reduced the audience to tears, again. He even dedicated the first song of the encore ('Home is a Fire’ from Codes and Keys) to local Fort Collins band Candy Claws (much to my confusion, however good for them.) I was elated to hear 'Title and Registration’, 'What Sarah Said’, and 'We Looked like Giants.’ Back in 2009, it started to rain during 'Grapevine Fires’ this year I saw three shooting stars.
Despite the fact that I may not like the new songs that Death Cab for Cutie has released, they still put on an incredible show. They stay true to their fans and play songs from their earlier albums, and they know that they have to play a decent amount from Transatlanticism or a riot may start. Ben Gibbard never ceases to amaze me as a performer, and the fact that he continues to play at one of the most incredible music venues only adds to the experience.
Even though it took over an hour to just get out of the parking lot, I would go see Death Cab for Cutie again, and I probably will. Their music has been with me for a long time now, and I can’t see one album causing me to lose my loyalty. What would Seth Cohen say? I may not like the happy, dancey, love songs that Zooey’s voice and bangs inspire, but I am glad that Ben Gibbard is happy and as long as he continues to return to his roots of melancholy nostalgia, I am willing to stand through a few songs about that girl who sings with M. Ward and is named after my favourite literary character.