Last night Zack and I saw The Postal Service, who are touring in honor of the 10th anniversary of Give Up. It was one of the last stops on the “Allison Berger Nostalgia Tour,” which began last May with The Shins, continued into fall and winter with Metric and Tegan and Sara and then went full-speed ahead into Spring with Stars, Owen, The Shout Out Louds, and Iron & Wine. It’ll finish up strong in July with Lindsay Baltus’ wedding in Portland, Oregon.
If you had told me in 2004 that I would get to see both Iron & Wine and The Postal Service perform “Such Great Heights” nearly ten years later, I never would have believed you. The Postal Service was my first foray into “emotional music,” a disc that was burned for me January of my sophomore year of high school. While many of you may be reminded of backseat makeout sessions with your high school lover, I don’t really associate Give Up with anyone besides myself. To put things into perspective, by January of my sophomore year, I had yet to be kissed, was going through a lot of problems with my best friend, and oh yeah- I didn’t own a cell phone (unrelated, but can you imagine a sixteen year old without a cell phone these days?).
The majority of the audience last night appeared to be in their mid-twenties and thirties. As I sipped my fourth drink of the evening, I looked at the folks around us, wondering what every single person was being reminded of at that moment. I tried to explain this to my thirty-two year old boss this morning, who was also at the show. “It’s just so crazy that this one album from ten years ago meant so much to everyone, when we were all different ages,” I tried to explain. “What do you mean?” “I mean, I was sixteen, you were twenty-two…like, all the different stuff that we were going through at the time, you know…?” I was rambling.
When Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis kicked things off with “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” Zack turned to me and said, “All of the feelings.” Pretty much. But in a totally removed kind of a way. As in, hey now, I can think these thoughts and feel these feelings and not get lost in them like I did at nineteen, I can think about the past without getting caught up in it, I can enjoy this music for what it is, at twenty-five years old standing next to my fiance for crying out loud. This is me understanding my own path to maturation, don’t you see?
I want so badly to believe that “there is truth, that love is real,”
And I want life in every word to the extent that it’s absurd
I know you’re wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the fear
That your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by?
Certainly a highlight from the setlist (yeah, yeah, they played the entirety of Give Up, whatever). “Nothing Better” was another favorite. Jenny’s voice is downright angelic, and she and Ben did this weird prancercizey half-grind which made the crowd go wild. “They’re definitely getting it in,” Zack commented. We left the Mann Center and hopped on the bus, then walked home from 7th and South, bathed in the streetlamps’ yellow light.
I woke up this morning from a dream where I running around the halls of Conestoga because I was late for 5th period. There was a Nokia brick phone in my hand.