Concert Review: The Postal Service

The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan, April 19

The obsession started a decade ago when the nation first heard those three descending chords of the “District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” Few could resist the transcendentally catchy songs on Give Up, which elevated the side project (peopled by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello and Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis) into something more. Sadly, that success never led to a second album. But on April 19, fans got the next best thing: a reunited Postal Service celebrating Give Up’s 10-year anniversary.

The show began with the same three descending chords. But instead of going straight into the scattered beats of track two, “Such Great Heights,” the wiser, less predictable Postal Service played “We Will Become Silhouettes.” Lewis stole the show every time she sang, especially during “Nothing Better.” She twirled around Gibbard, harmonizing while staring into his eyes during the sickeningly precious duet.

Since the band doesn’t have much material, the performance felt somewhat contrived. With the exception of an explosive intro to “Natural Anthem” and a few new songs (“Turn Around” and the equally repetitive “A Tattered Line of String”), their music hasn’t changed at all.

Refreshingly, the group did not end the show with their much-anticipated “Such Great Heights,” but instead left us with the inspiring “Brand New Colony.” The music dropped out as Gibbard, Tamborello and Lewis led the audience in a chant of the last words: Everything will change, ooooooo. That combined with the cascading orange lights emanating from the stage made for a touching moment some would have considered worth the years-long wait. ★★★☆☆

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By Deanna Rilling

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