I have come to terms that there are some things in life that I probably never will get to see: A Knicks championship, The Smiths reunion tour, or an In-N-Out in the east coast. Seeing The Postal Service live was something I never would have expected to ever see. That is until they decided to get up and tour this year, 10 years after their one and only album Give Up was released.
Ben Gibbard joked that all bands should just do what they did. Release an album and then disappear for 10 years. Then, you get to play Barclays Center. Thinking about it, it is quite amazing that they are able to jump right into one of the biggest arenas in New York after all these years. But it shouldn’t surprise us, as Give Up has stood the test of time incredibly well. That album touched a lot of people including myself. I may have only been a 13-year-old at the time, but I remember being affected by that album for many years to come. So it was life affirming to hear these songs live, with everything coming full circle.
Ben & Jimmy were joined by Jenny Lewis and Laura Burhen of The Mynabirds live, a 4-piece that created quite the sound. “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” opened the show, as if there was ever any other song considered. “We Will Become Silhouettes” surprisingly came next and sounded bigger than you could imagine. “Nothing Better” saw Ben & Jenny dance close together making it clear that he is well over Ms. Deschanel these days. It was cool to hear Jimmy add the robotic vocal finish to “Sleeping In”, a moment which really made me realize that I was actually seeing The Postal Service live in person.
They delighted us with bigger versions of everything off Give Up, but the album was only 10 songs, requiring them to get creative in order to stretch out the set. This was done with a few b-sides (“A Tattered Line Of String”, “Turn Around”, “There’s Never Enough Time), a cover (“Our Secret” by Beat Happening) and Dntel’s “(This Is) The Dream Of Evan and Chan”, the first collaboration between Gibbard/Tamborello that sparked their teaming up as The Postal Service.
People had their doubts about The Postal Service’s live show, but they delivered. Ben Gibbard was energetic throughout the show, dancing in place, genuinely having fun. He would run from the mic to the drum kit whenever it called for it. Jimmy Tamborello’s beats sounded massive in the arena, making me realize just how ahead of the game he was with what he created on Give up. Jenny Lewis was essentially the bands 6 man: adding beautiful vocals, and rocking out when it called for it when she played guitar with her teeth.
Everyone in attendance can now check off seeing The Postal Service off their list. It was a show that was a mixed bag of feelings. There were parts that made me dance, and parts that made me reflect emotionally. The Postal Service meant something to me over the last 10 years. It was great to finally see them live and recapture the essence of these feelings and to show the band just how much they meant to us.