I survived a rough morning dealing with the US Postal Service, but walking into the GSR that evening with a goggle tan I could barely contain my level of excitement. I remember when the Postal Service debuted 10 years ago; they put out the CD “Give Up” and never toured. Rumors would be going around that they would play some show in Washington, and then I’d get all excited and never find out the details. They’re one of those bands that’s like, “man, I would die happy if I could just see the Postal Service live”.
Well, now I can die happy.
I arrived at the GSR at about 8:15 pm. I headed straight for the merch table, money out, and inquired about the Postal Service “Give Up” 10th Anniversary 3-Vinyl LP 1st Edition set. If I bought it now would they hold it for me? Would they sell out? I decided I couldn’t risk it…I bought it right that second and kept it clutched to my chest for a while before carefully taking it to the car.
Then I went back in and watched the opener, Baths. Will Wiesenfield was eh, not my thing.
About 9:10 pm, the lights dimmed, the level of excitement among the crowd was noticeable, and my friend Penny and I snuck our way up to the front. We had huge smiles and uncontrollable giddiness as the band took the stage. Jenny Lewis and Ben Gibbard took to the front, with Jimmy Tamborello and that other chick in the back (Jen Wood?) Then the familiar, electro-pop sound filled the air and everyone belted out the lyrics in unified chorus. Every song they started, two girls behind me screamed, “I love this one!” It’s the first show I’ve ever been to where everyone knew the songs. Everyone. Knew. Every. Song.
And Ben Gibbard started out by saying, “so, we got the band back together. This is the first time we’ve played in 9 years.” He mentioned that it was a sold out show. Yeah, their whole tour is sold out.
I was impressed with their use of instruments and electronics- the xylophone, keyboards,
mixing boards, and whatever else they used. For a few songs, I noticed that Jimmy played a melodica, which I never realized made soft background noise in songs like “This Place is a Prison”. (I have a melodica and now I can practice being a backup melodicaist for the band!) Now when I listen to the “Give Up” deluxe LP, I imagine Ben and Jenny holding up weird cans or pedals to their mics to distort their voices, just as they did at this Reno show.
Even though the Postal Service played a solid hour set- all of my favorite songs and their new ones (did I mention “Turn Around” makes my heart pitter-patter?), it felt like they played for 20 minutes. It was an incredible show and I wished they had the stamina to go all night.
But afterwards, we got some tacos and some Modelos and reminisced about the time we
just had. And even though it was technically my Saturday night and I could’ve stayed out and partied, all I wanted to do was listen to my new Postal Service LP set. I drove home, went into my spare room, put the translucent disc 2 on my record player, and fell asleep on the floor with a smile on my face. Thanks for redeeming the name Postal Service, Postal Service. I can’t wait to see you again at Coachella next weekend.
By the way, can someone give me a ride?