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The following post is based on an email I got from my good friend and fellow Death Cab For Cutie fan, Nikki (she’s appeared previously on the blog, in my “Pearl Harbor” post). I’ve blogged about Death Cab before, including a review of the first time I saw them live (which was awesome) and the second time (which got awkward). Nikki recently saw Death Cab’s frontman, Ben Gibbard, perform a solo show in Boston. This is her account of that night.

The concert itself was pretty awesome–it was in an old movie theater in my neighborhood. He performed a full set all solo and all acoustic–just him and a guitar and a piano. He played a mix of the new solo stuff and DCFC and Postal Service songs. His second song was “Such Great Heights” and at that point I could only think about how stupid Zooey Deschanel is.

Ben Gibbard doing his thing. (Photo Credit: Nikki Donovan.)

So, the show ended and [my fiancé] John suggested we see if we can get his autograph because it was such a small venue and he seemed like a nice guy who enjoys these smaller shows. We walked around the back of the building and his tour bus was sitting there, so we decided to hang out a bit to see if he’d appear. Within a few minutes, about 15-20 people with Sharpies and tickets and posters gathered around with us. The guy manning the back door to the theater told us that Ben walked off the stage and booked it to his tour bus.  Not giving up hope yet, we all hung around as we saw people going in and out of the tour bus (yes, with cases of O’Doul’s and Gatorade).

Without realizing it, about an hour had passed. The bus was still there idling even after the two equipment trucks drove off and everyone still kept thinking “Ben seems like such a nice guy, if he sees us standing here he’ll totally come out.” Around the hour mark people started walking away slowly, constantly looking back to see if he’d appear (two girls even came back for a drive by 20 minutes after they left).  When we left about an hour and 45 minutes after the show ended there were only four people left (interestingly enough three of the four were dudes) still holding out hope that Ben would not disappoint.  He comes off as such a nice guy–it’s hard for any of us standing out there to think he would purposely ignore us.

Not cool, Ben. Not cool. (Photo Credit: John DeMelo.)

 So here’s what has been going through my mind:

  • Should I be upset/disappointed in Ben Gibbard for not meeting fans and signing autographs? Should I let it ruin an otherwise awesome show? If he is actually a douche, should it change my decision about going to future shows or calling DCFC one of my favorite bands?
  • When I realized my feet were going numb from the cold I turned to John and told him all I hear in my head is Sonny from A Bronx Tale talking about Mickey Mantle.
  • As annoying as it was, we did have fun joking around with the other fans and didn’t realize how much time had actually passed.  It was especially funny talking to all the guys standing out there by themselves waiting for a bromance to blossom.
  • Wouldn’t it be funny to find out he was never in the bus but actually at one of the bars down the street?

Anyway…just a lot of reflection on expectations of celebrities. There are many celebrities I would never expect to engage fans and be fine with that but for some reason I thought Ben Gibbard would.  Just before we walked away John made one last attempt to get his attention by tweeting him to come out and stop making us wait in the cold which was accompanied by a picture of me outside the bus giving a thumbs down and pouting.  Too much?  Ben did not acknowledge the tweet…

And yes, we acknowledge that waiting outside the tour bus was slightly stalker-ish.

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