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Published: 2017/11/22

Death Cab for Cutie Share Recording of First Show in Honor of 20th Anniversary

While preparing a new album for 2018, Death Cab for Cutie paused to honor the 20th anniversary of their very first show as a band. Ben Gibbard posted a lengthy remembrance of the gig that took place on November 22, 1997.

An acoustic gig at The Pacer House in Bellingham, WA, the tape was made by friend of the band Trevor Adams on that night as the group played to “25 of our closest friends and fellow musicians” shortly after Gibbard and bandmate Chris Walla completed their early demo You Can Play These Songs with Chords.

The show is available to stream here.

Read Gibbard’s full statement below.

This is a recording of the first ever Death Cab for Cutie show. It was made by our friend Trevor Adams on his dictaphone at The Pacer House in Bellingham, Washington on November 22, 1997. Sprawled across couches and sitting cross-legged on the floor were 25 of our closest friends and fellow musicians. Everyone played acoustic or semi-acoustic with no PA. Trevor made and passed bowl after bowl of microwave popcorn because he was (and I assume still is) a great host.

Chris Walla and I had just finished the You Can Play These Songs with Chords cassette and we thought it would be fun to play a few shows around Bellingham to celebrate the release. We recruited Nick Harmer to play bass and Walla’s childhood friend Nathan Good to play drums. None of us thought we were starting a band nor did our ambitions for DCfC extend very far past this particular evening. We simply thought it would be fun to play these songs for our friends before moving on to other things.

I remain forever grateful to Trevor for inviting us to play in his living room 20 years ago today. It was one of the greatest nights of my life at the time and its significance has only grown since.

Benjamin Gibbard
Death Cab for Cutie
November 22, 2017

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