NOTE: This show has been moved to Walnut Creek.
To date, Give Up is the only album by The Postal Service, the duo of sweet-voiced singer Ben Gibbard and saccharine-touch producer Jimmy Tamborello. But their limited output belies an enormous influence: Give Up served as something of a sea change moment for the infiltration of near-mainstream audiences with the broadening spectrum of what's called indie rock. To wit, The Postal Service's popularity presaged the ascension of Death Cab for Cutie, Gibbard's long-running flagship, to a major label and amphitheater status. Sure, there were records before and after Give Up that seemed to push the cool kids into pop culture, but those 10 songs felt then like an earnest and innocent invitation to sing along.
Indeed, a decade ago, The Postal Service was just a humble side project of two guys who'd had fun working together on a track for Tamborello's main concern, the glitch-and-hum electronic act Dntel. Such an easygoing and sincere esprit defines Give Up, a winning string of chirpy synthesizers, wide-eyed crescendos and comedowns, and sad-eyed romanticism. At the time, it felt like refreshing redemption for pop music, hanging its irrepressible hooks less for Billboard status than for sheer enjoyment. "I'll write you a song and it won't be hard to sing," Gibbard offered at the end. "It will be a natural anthem—familiar it will seem." Somehow, each of those songs seemed written only for you.
For this 10th anniversary tour, Tamborello and Gibbard reunite with Jenny Lewis, the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman who offered backup on The Postal Service's short tour a decade ago. Apparently, they're dancing a lot onstage, as they should be. With Ra Ra Riot. —Grayson Currin