THE POSTAL SERVICE @ RED ROCKS | 5/30 "We had to cancel last night because I lost my voice, but I've got it back, kinda sorta," Ben Gibbard told a packed house last night at Red Rocks, referring to scrapping the previous night's gig in Salt Lake City. "And by kinda sorta I mean this will be kind of a like Tom Waits does Postal Service kind of night."
Of course even if he had swallowed a sheet of forty-grit sandpaper, a nugget of coal and some rusty nails, he'd still be hard to pressed to get anywhere near the gravel of Waits, but the sentiment from the Postal Service frontman was funny and duly noted, and as it turned out, Gibbard actually sounded pretty good for the most part.
Maybe it was the constant sips of tea between songs, but Gibbard seemed to have no problem running through a good part of the hour-and-twenty-minute set, which included Give Up in its entirety plus a few new songs included on the tenth anniversary edition of the disc, which was released last month, along with a few covers.
Gibbard sounded especially good early in the set on the opener, "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," and "We Will Become Silhouettes," which had Gibbard switching from guitar to drum kit near the end of the cut, and then he reeled it in a bit on "Sleeping In." Manning two laptops, Jimmy Tamborello laid down the meat of the programmed songs, while Jenny Lewis added some gorgeous vocals to the mix.
She sounded great on "Be Still My Heart" and "Nothing Better," where she traded off verses with Gibbard. Throughout the set, Lewis also played electric and acoustic guitars and the occasional electronic drum. Mynabirds' Laura Burhenn, who joined the group for this tenth anniversary tour of Give Up, also proved to be an integral part of the set on keyboard, vibraphone and background vocals.