Click here to read the full review of Friday’s concert. Here are some other thoughts from the show:
*Few musicians have proven as consistent while bringing their side projects here on tour as Ben Gibbard. The Death Cab for Cutie frontman has come through in recent years on his Jack Kerouac-related tour with Jay Farrar, his solo outing behind last year’s “Former Lives” and now the Postal Service – each significantly different, yet similar in how spirited and committed he was in them.
*He was especially lighthearted Friday. In addition to his quips about playing 7th Street Entry, and about the Beat Happening being “the best band west of the Replacements,” he was savvy enough to play up a little St.Paul vs. Minneapolis rivalry. Best of all, while introducing his bandmates, he referred to Jenny Lewis as “the queen of the Valley” and himself as “the frontman of a Descendents cover band.”
*While he mostly hung in the back and kept quiet – save for singing one of the refrains of “Sleeping In” all by himself -- Jimmy Tamborello’s contributions to the Postal Service shone through. He created beats and synth parts that still sounded fresh and contemporary after 10 years. He also put a really cool, hard-thumping twist on the Beat Happening cover “Our Secret,” in which Lewis played the drums. Of course, Wilkins Auditorium's worked its usual, evil black-magic on some of the numbers, adding echo to the heavier beats and eating up some of the quieter subtleties.
*As much fun as the Postal Service seemed to be having, it was no match for the Mates of State’s spirit of adventure. With a day off between Kansas City and St. Paul, bandmates/spouses Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel took their crew – two young daughters – camping at White Water State Park, near Stewartville, Minn., where Hammel grew up. The drummer/singer asked the crowd, “How many of you know Chimney Rock?” After meager applause, he dryly added, “It’s a big rock that, you know, looks like a chimney.”
Here’s the Postal Service’s set list:
The District Sleeps Alone Tonight / We Will Become Silhouettes / Sleeping In / Turn Around / Nothing Better / Recycled Air / Be Still My Heart / Clark Gable / Our Secret (Beat Happening cover) / This Place Is a Prison / There's Never Enough Time / A Tattered Line of String / Such Great Heights / Natural Anthem ENCORE: (This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan (by Tamborello’s Dntel) / Brand New Colony