Staples of alt-rock, Death Cab for Cutie are well-known for hits like Black Sun and Soul Meets Body, as well as the unique voice of frontman Ben Gibbard. This past Sunday I had the privilege of seeing Gibbard, along with opener Tara Jane O’Neil, perform at historic Thalia Hall in Pilsen, and both artists knocked it out of the park.
Now I know the star of the show was Gibbard, but Tara Jane O’Neil deserves major praise. At one point she jokingly mentioned that she might start an ASMR YouTube channel, but she could do it. Her singing is soft, breathy, and bright. I don’t have another artists whose voice I could compare to hers, so I’d suggest you find her songs wherever you can (preferably a platform where she’ll benefit from your listening) and give her a chance, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Gibbard’s set was amazing as well. Getting to hear him solo really lets his voice shine, plus I’m a sucker for acoustic sets; but my favorite part was when he switched over to piano, and as a pianist myself, I could really appreciate that he was great. We got piano versions of “Duncan, Where Have You Gone?” and “Soul Meets Body”, which was a particular treat. He eventually switched back to guitar, playing “Black Sun” and possibly my favorite song of the night, “When The Sun Goes Down on Your Street,” Gibbard’s contribution to the ill-fated 2011 remake of the 1981 comedy Arthur, a fact that Gibbard mentioned before he played.
Being a fan of punk, I find that acoustic sets are a nice break from the ear-shatteringly loud sets at most punk shows, and this is one of the best acoustic sets I’ve seen. I don’t really need to tell you to check out Ben Gibbard, but I would highly recommend you listen to some of O’Neil’s discography. She’s been active since ‘92, so there’s more than enough for a binge listening session.