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Listen to Death Cab For Cutie’s first ever live show

The indie rock/pop band Death Cab For Cutie last released a full studio album back in 2015 with Kintsugi. After the release of that album, founding member Chris Walla decided to leave the band, and since then things have remained relatively quiet on the new music front. But today the band are offering up a treat for long-time fans in the form of their unreleased first ever live show.

Today, November 22, is a very important day in the history of the band, whether you knew it or not. 20 years ago today Death Cab For Cutie assembled a full band set up and played their first ever live show to a living room of 25 people. It was then that the band was truly formed. Previously, Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla had recorded and released You Can Play These Songs With Chords, but apparently they had no intentions or expectations of becoming a fully-formed successful band.

Of the recording, Benjamin Gibbard writes:

“This is a recording of the first ever Death Cab for Cutie show. It was made by our friend Trevor Adams on his dictaphone at The Pacer House in Bellingham, Washington on November 22, 1997. Sprawled across couches and sitting cross-legged on the floor were 25 of our closest friends and fellow musicians. Everyone played acoustic or semi-acoustic with no PA. Trevor made and passed bowl after bowl of microwave popcorn because he was (and I assume still is) a great host.

Chris Walla and I had just finished the You Can Play These Songs with Chords cassette and we thought it would be fun to play a few shows around Bellingham to celebrate the release. We recruited Nick Harmer to play bass and Walla’s childhood friend Nathan Good to play drums. None of us thought we were starting a band nor did our ambitions for DCfC extend very far past this particular evening. We simply thought it would be fun to play these songs for our friends before moving on to other things.

I remain forever grateful to Trevor for inviting us to play in his living room 20 years ago today. It was one of the greatest nights of my life at the time and its significance has only grown since.”

The recording is available directly from the band via Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to Seattle’s Aurora Commons.

Purchase or stream it right here. 


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