Death Cab For Cutie performed a headline show at London’s Royal Albert Hall last night (Wednesday March 29) – joking that they should be “sponsored by Boots” having spent the weekend battling illness. Check out photos, footage and the setlist from the show below.
Last week saw the band kick off their UK tour in support of their acclaimed 2022 album ‘Asphalt Meadows’, before being forced to pull a run of shows due to frontman Ben Gibbard being struck down by illness. After returning to the stage to perform in Brighton and London’s Roundhouse, the US indie veterans played another stop at the capital at Royal Albert Hall.
At one point in the show, Gibbard paused to make light of his recent plight with ill health while travelling around the UK.
“You know how you’ll see shows like ‘Jack Daniels presents Mötley Crüe’ or ‘Budweiser presents The National?'” he started. “OK, maybe not that last one – but after these past few weeks we’ve had, I feel like we should be sponsored by Boots.”
Honouring the chain of chemists, he continued: “You guys don’t know how lucky you have it. You’ve got a chain of stores where people really know their stuff and what medicine you should have.”
Death Cab For Cutie at the Royal Albert Hall tonight
You know bands have been around for a long time when they shout out “Boots, the chemist” for “really knowing their stuff.” Great to see them live. pic.twitter.com/vKR9BWv9Po
— Paul Townley (@prtownley) March 29, 2023
As well as repeatedly paying tribute to support act Slow Pulp, Gibbard often noted the sense of occasion in playing the iconic Royal Albert Hall. “Sometimes we say ‘we are happy to be here’ and we’re not,” he told the audience. “Tonight, we are genuinely happy to be here.”
He would later hail the gig as “not just a band highlight” but “a life highlight”.
With a set that leaned heavily on well-received cuts from last year’s ‘Asphalt Meadows’, other highlights included a full crowd sing-along to Gibbard performing ‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ solo and acoustic, along with renditions of fan favourites ‘The New Year’, ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’, ‘The New Year’, ‘The Sound of Settling’, ‘Soul Meets Body’ and ‘Transatlanticism’.
Death Cab For Cutie played:
‘I Don’t Know How I Survive’
‘The New Year’
‘A Movie Script Ending’
‘Here to Forever’
‘I Miss Strangers’
‘I Will Follow You Into the Dark’ (Gibbard, solo acoustic)
‘I Will Possess Your Heart’
‘Your Heart Is an Empty Room’
‘We Looked Like Giants’
‘The Sound of Settling’
‘The Ghosts of Beverly Drive’
‘Foxglove Through the Clearcut’
‘Brothers on a Hotel Bed’
‘Soul Meets Body’
Later this year, the band will be hitting the road in the US for a double headline tour with Gibbard’s other outfit The Postal Service, celebrating 20 years of their cult classic ‘Give Up’ while DCFC will mark two decades of their 2003 breakthrough album ‘Transatlanticism’ – with both records being played in full each night.
When NME recently asked if the joint tour would hit other territories such as the UK or Europe, Gibbard replied: “We have limited time for many reasons. Jenny Lewis [The Postal Service bandmate] has music coming out at some point and will need to tour, and members of the band would probably like to maintain relationships with their children and spouses.
“There’s just not enough time to take a global victory lap – but never say never.”