80/35 2012: Death Cab For Cutie

Image courtesy of Death Cab For Cutie

I went to the last little bit of the 80/35 music festival with my friend Emily this Saturday. I bought tickets solely to see Death Cab For Cutie, because i loved them so hard during my college years and always wanted to see them play a live show. I bought my favorite of their albums, Transatlanticism, during my freshman year when it was still very new, and other students in the College of Design and at Stomping Grounds cafe (unwittingly) shared all of their previous albums with me as well. So Death Cab was basically the soundtrack to countless hours of my four years at Iowa State, as well as the additional year i spent working in Ames after college. (And then i met Nathan, who doesn’t care for Death Cab For Cutie. :))

Emily and i skipped most of the music festival because it was so very hot outside. We arrived after 8 p.m., and even then we could feel the sweat rolling down our backs as we watched Dan Deacon perform at the freebie stage. But soon the sun went down, and i don’t remember feeling hot after Death Cab took the stage at exactly nine o’ clock.

Immediately i was reminded of why i don’t go to a lot of shows anymore: the other patrons are assholes. Here’s a quick list of the type of douchebaggery that goes on at any given general-admission show:

  1. Needlessly violent dancing
  2. Smoking of illicit and smelly substances
  3. Flinging various beverages on fellow patrons
  4. Pushing & shoving, coming & going
  6. Holding cell phones up to take photos and/or videos
  7. Excessively loud cheering, just to get attention
  8. Choosing new spots halfway through the show to block what was once someone’s perfectly good view
  9. Minors attending just for the chance to sneak alcohol, meanwhile doing all of the above

But after a while i realized that Emily was taking it in stride and there was nowhere for us to go anyway, and i accepted the fact that this is just part of the concert experience. And it’s worth it. Being out in the warm summer night, dancing and singing along with the artist who gave me some of my favorite songs, feeling the music all around, soaking in the moment… All good things. Things i don’t get to do very often at all. So i reveled in it. And to my surprise, they played four tracks from my favorite album and one from an even older album, despite the fact that they’ve released four (Edit: three) additional very popular studio albums since then. They didn’t happen to play my very favorite song, Title and Registration (the only song i ever got close to being able to play on the guitar), but they did end the night with the title track of Transatlanticism, which i love almost as much.

I’m glad i went.


2 thoughts on “80/35 2012: Death Cab For Cutie

  1. I almost thought about getting tix for the show for the same reason, but then remembered all of those things you mentioned. You forgot crowd surfing. And I’m guessing you’ve not gone to many shows that involve mosh pits, but those are right up there on the list.

    Glad that it turned out okay in the end! 🙂


  2. We ended up bailing because of the heat as well and also because large clumps of people squished all together makes me a tad anxious and if you add heat to that anxiety it makes, like, UBER anxiety and/or I just turn into a cranky bitch. And nobody wants that.

    I used to go to concerts ALL the time… and the annoying concertgoer behavior you listed above is a pretty big deterrent for not going so much anymore.

    Uhhhh yeah, so, if that doesn’t make me sound old and crochety at the ripe old age of 27, I don’t know what else will. DAMN KIDS AND THEIR DAMN ROCK CONCERTS. GET OFF MY LAWN.


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