Truman Show (Death Cab for Cutie at Fabulous Fox)

He has a mohawk, this dog. Truman is half UGA English Bulldawg and half Shih Tzu – a “Bullshit” – and his daddy had just moved him to Midtown ATL and was taking him for a walk near the Fabulous Fox.

Financial snafus had recently resulted in his daddy, my apartment sub-leaser in Atlanta, missing a Death Cab for Cutie show in which he had tickets, waiting in vain at will call, in New Orleans, while he was stuck in Mobile, where he was relocating from. And Truman is the biggest pimp on Bourbon Street, but that is another story.

Picture this. Today Truman and his daddy are on a walk, side of The Fox. And Death Cab’s lead guitarist, Chris Walla pops up near his bus to meet the four-legged mohawked star.

Ensuing went like this: ATL, Fox, Free Tickets, 5th row, great show. I was there too, man. How many cuties filled the place in body, with their lilting voices, as Ben Gibbard encouraged them to sing the chorus for him? Oh, those Southern Belles. They would follow their men through the dark, to the afterlife.

Romantic love expressed in big thoughtful words, carried by palatable punchy chord structures that are all about moments. Big, powerful drum moments, bass boom tricks, winding guitar riffs. Of Seattle, Death Cab is more child of REM, the Smith’s, the Replacements than of Nirvana and the legion of always predictable 1990’s grunge negativists that were of that ilk. They aren’t afraid to be fun and it shows.

This night the band emanated a sense of big show comprehension. It was a blossoming performance full of momentum and harmonic energy.

The Fox is just plain gorgeous, y’all. And the light show indicated money, the ultimate sign of big record label trust and hope. Death Cab gave the guys in the suits behind them a huge reason to smile with the ultimate success of this show. Large engaged audience, delighting to an “on” band. They were really on…and it was spring in The ATL, so y’all know we were “on.”

The lovely, artsy couple next to us were also guests of Chris Walla; he had met the her of the two that morning at the bank in which she works. America can be cool sometimes.

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Han Vance

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