Video by Erwin Hilao
The phrase “profound sadness” may be vehemently unbearable for some people but it seems to have been invented for bands like Death Cab for Cutie. So as expected, Attraction Reaction’s Death Cab for Cutie night was a bittersweet blow to the skinny-jeaned crowd who all went through puberty quoting The Gospel According to Ben Gibbard and were guilty of putting a Death Cab lyric as a blog bio or status update once or twice in their online lives.
While hand-holding was optional, the gig was essentially a hipper take of a prayer meeting with all the sing alongs, occasional screaming and proclamations of faith to the sacred altar. It’s the moroseness that reigns supreme after all, as exhibited by Charles Dumraos aka Aww Sad who, rightly enough, opened the gig with Death Cab melodramas like “I Will Posses Your Heart”.
Other bands followed suit, establishing the night’s tradition of shattering hearts and stomping on whatever’s left on the floor. Okay, there was the occasional shifts like Don’t Bogart the Can…Man’s “Bobby, Don’t Die”, or Ang Bandang Shirley suddenly turning into Death Cab for Shirley but then they played ‘Nakauwi Na’ which still elicits cries even though it’s a happy song (it is, right?). More embracing and singing along. Then it was Hannah + Gabi’s turn and everyone’s a weeping mess.
Saving the most soul disparaging songs for the last, Hannah + Gabi’s Mikey Amistoso sang one sad Death Cab song after another like a succession of sad animal gifs. From ‘Transatlanticism’, ‘Debate Exposes Doubt’ to ‘A Lack of Color’, the crowd was bore the weight of the world’s sadness on their shoulders, braying like the kids from Jesus Camp. Sadness is a blessing, sadness is a drug, sadness is a currency.
March 5 will be insane, y’all.
Originally published in Restless Cities