Playing host to Easter Sunday, as well as embodying the day cannabis consumers would congregate in celebration, April 20, 2003 would also mark the first and last time The Postal Service would be in Boston for ten years.
Ten years and ten tracks later they would be back,
only this time to the tune of five thousand at the Bank of America Pavilion.
“What’s up,” the lone words skipped from Ben Gibbard’s mouth as the band took the stage last Wednesday night. Cheers ensued. This simple yet effective introduction set the tone for the entire night. It was a cool, misty evening and Gibbard’s shadow cast to the left against the giant white tarp that covered the pavilion.
As the foursome opened the show with “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” the stage lit up with a fantastic light show of pink, blue, orange and purple glows that danced in time to the beat of the records opening track.
It was during “Silhouettes,” the second song of the night, when it occurred to me that
this might have been the happiest show I had ever been to.
Almost instantly, a man a row in front of me caught my eye. He was undoubtedly in his early 30s and was grinning contagiously. Eyes fixed on the stage; his body moved in a way that it mimicked the march-like dance moves coming from Gibbard. My suspicions were confirmed; this was absolutely the happiest show I had ever been to.
From the moment of its release, “Give Up” was an indie-pop lover’s dream. It was consistently and purposefully enjoyed best through headphones, on the floor of a bedroom after school, or on a long drive over the weekend. And that is exactly how the sold out crowd that showed up Wednesday night has been utilizing it for the last ten years.
“Thank you very much Boston,” a humbled Gibbard breathed into the microphone,
“the reason we’re out here playing music is because of you guys carrying on this record for all these years.”
While some might have been questioning the translation of this electronic-heavy record to the live stage of a monstrous outdoor pavilion, these doubts were tarnished almost instantly. But I’m not sure it would have mattered.
Upon arrival, The Postal Service faithful knew exactly what they were going to get:
forty-five minutes of an electropop side-project riddled with nostalgia.
And that’s what this tour is all about. It’s for the all the people who lost and then found themselves again over a decade ago to an experimental record that latched on and refused to let go.
The band finished up “The Dream of Evan and Chan,” the first of two songs from the encore. Ben Gibbard made his way to center stage. With a sheepish grin and right arm outstretched, Gibbard casually shrugged and said,
“Because we have no more songs.”
The crowd erupted as the beat to “Brand New Colony” painted the pavilion.