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Review: In Utah, Postal Service takes a victory lap

Published July 14, 2013 5:15 pm

Give up • The band's show was a decade, and two months, in the making.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Saltair • It's been 10 years since the indie rock act the Postal Service released their lone, beloved album.

But at The Great Saltair Saturday, singer Ben Gibbard and electronic music artist Jimmy Tamborello showed the music still has resonance and a fan base.

At about 90 minutes, the set was fairly short, but had high energy. In a black shirt and tight black pants, Gibbard seems to have ramped up his swagger since I last saw him perform a decade ago.

Singer Jenny Lewis, who provided vocals on the 2003 record, Give Up, shared center stage. The pair had chemistry, especially on the oddly upbeat breakup tune "Nothing Better."

With just 10 songs to work with on Give Up, the band rounded out the set with some new material (news that will please longtime fans).

Gibbard led a few thousand of those fans in a hand-clapping rendition of the catchy synth-pop hit "Such Great Heights."

"The only reason we're here," he said, "is you guys still like this record all these years later."

Tamborello's subtle new additions to the original songs, like violins, kept things interesting. The handful of new tracks, though, might not have been as innovative as the Give Up material — though maybe that's nostalgia talking.

The Postal Service was an unexpected success in 2003. It was something of a side project for Death Cab for Cutie's Gibbard and Tamborello, better known as Dntel, who made the record by sending CDs back and forth through the, ahem, Postal Service.

The combination of tightly crafted hooks and offbeat lyrics exploded, but despite the success, the two men never made another album.

This year, as Give Up was certified platinum, the duo released a 10th anniversary edition and mounted a cross-country tour. Salt Lake City's show at was rescheduled from May 29 after Gibbard lost his voice and Tamborello hurt his back.

The date change didn't seem to affect the size of the crowd though — the venue on the Great Salt Lake was nearly full.


Twitter: @lwhitehurst —

The Postal Service

When • Saturday

Where • The Great Saltair

Bottom line • For making one record 10 years ago, the band had chemistry. Between that and some nostalgia, the crowd had a good time.