Ben Gibbard Plays Rare Favorites at Town Hall
  • TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 06, 2012

  • Posted by: Ilana Kaplan

Last night may have been a dream. Ben Gibbard was there, and I was about four rows from him at Town Hall in New York City. He serenaded the audience with a grab-bag of songs from his present and former musical projects.

The audience was extremely quiet; maybe from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, exhaustion and a much needed night of silence. It seemed like Gibbard was there for moral support; his witty jokes were placed impeccably after melancholic ballads. It just felt right.

I didn't even realize when he started playing a song I was more than familiar with at some points maybe because I was so surprised that he was playing what I wanted to hear. Of course, the show was in support of his long-awaited, debut solo album, Former Lives, but Gibbard didn't hesitate to take trips down memory lane and bring the audience along with him.

I've seen Gibbard perform about five or six songs, but never had I heard a live Postal Service song -- a anomaly I asked him about in an interview a few weeks back. To my surprise (and delight), he performed a beautiful, acoustic version of "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" along with "Recycled Air." It was beyond memorable. Accompanying Gibbard's performance of rarities, he also played "You Remind Me of Home," a track (from a current Dell commercial) from Andrew Kenny and his collaboration, HOME: Volume 5.

Along with the old hits, Gibbard played songs from Former Lives including "Teardrop Windows," "Lady Adelaide," and "Duncan, Where Have You Gone."

All in all, Gibbard's show was the ideal, intimate performance. He left the stage for maybe ten seconds before returning for an encore. Gibbard was there to play and make everyone feel at home. He did just that.
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