Ben Gibbard stepped up to the mic and surveyed the 18,000 or so fans cheering around him. “Let this be a lesson to all you budding musicians!” he called out. “Make a record, don’t do anything for ten years, then you play Barclays! It’s really simple!”
Gibbard was performing to the soldout crowd as part of The Postal Service, the electronic side-project he created with Jimmy Tamborello (aka DJ Dntel) and Jenny Lewis whose only release, 2003’s Give Up, exceeded all expectations by becoming one of the biggest albums of the year. Although a followup album was rumored throughout the aughts, one never materialized. Gibbard and Tamborello have regrouped with Jenny Lewis and Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the release.
Having only one album’s worth of material, no one expected a long performance, but the band wrung every moment out of every song for the mellow crowd. The electronic glitches caught on every guitar hook as an overpowering bass threatened to drown out the sublime vocals– Lewis in particular sounded an angelic complement to Gibbard. Despite the electronic beats, Gibbard sat behind a small drum kit for extra beats on a handful of songs while maintaining his vocal duties.
It’s hard to think of another act who gained such success with an off-hand project, made no attempt to recapture it with further endeavors, and was still met with open arms years later. For The Postal Service, it seems a little goes a long way.
All photos by Alyssa Fried
1. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
2. We Will Become Silhouettes
3. Sleeping In
4. Turn Around
5. Nothing Better
6. Recycled Air
7. Be Still My Heart
8. Clark Gable
9. Our Secret (Beat Happening cover)
10. This Place is a Prison
11. There’s Never Enough Time
12. A Tattered Line of String
13. Such Great Heights
14. Natural Anthem
1. (This is) The Dream of Evan and Chan
2. Brand New Colony