I Hear A Symphony

Thank you one and all for your enthusiastic response to my last post! In my haste to get it out to you, I neglected to say that we stayed in the Adobe Rose Inn, a truly delightful bed and breakfast just west of UA campus. The proprietors are wonderful people, and they make a darn good breakfast. I was also remiss in linking to the things I was gushing over, but if you head on back, you will find that everything’s been link-ified too.

I am not really sure how I can follow up the last post with anything you’ll think is anywhere near as cool. I’ll try by gushing a bit about one of the few things that, for me, can rival a great vacation: a great concert.

Death Cab.

At Ikeda Theatre.

With a miniature orchestra.



Some of you may be wondering what the heck I’m getting all excited over.

First, Death Cab. The first time I saw them live, I was all excited to see the band that wrote some of my favorite sad songs. The low lights went on, four shadowy figures appeared onstage, and I had to stare a moment at the guy rocking out at the piano before I realized it was Ben Gibbard. If you are at all in doubt as to how a “breakup band” can put on an awesome show, go see Death Cab.

Second: Ikeda Theater. There are three classes of venue in the Phoenix area. Arenas, which are commercial and crass, with poor acoustics and so much dead space that all but the very best bands are swallowed up. Then you have the venues, like the Marquee and the Clubhouse of yore, which are hideous concrete shells of buildings, but ones that are small enough and have/had sufficiently hardcore audiences that it’s fun to be at shows in them if you don’t look at the setting too hard. Next come the Rhythm Room and Crescent Ballroom, which are clean, well-staffed, and legitimately terrific places to see shows. Last, there are the real theaters–beautiful places that were designed to make wonderful performers look and sound even better. The Ikeda is at the tippy-top of this class because its layout lets everyone, no matter where they’re sitting, feel like they’re right against the stage. And the sound–*gasp*. The sound in there is amazing.

Third: orchestra. Real orchestra, not gimmicky orchestra that equates modern with kooky or jangling sounds. If you’ve heard any of Death Cab’s recorded music, you’re familiar with how often they add orchestration to their music. Hearing music live is enough to transport me, but take a song like “Transatlanticism” and add real violins, and it is gorgeous beyond description.

The set captured some of my old favorites (“I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, “What Sarah Said”, “Soul Meets Body”) with music from their latest album, Codes and Keys–note, a very different set from their last show here–and the orchestra rocked out, in their black-dress-and-tie way, right along with the band. If the haven’t passed your town yet, go and see. You can thank me later 😉

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