Who says "alternative" anymore? Every instance of that word seems to have evaporated in the past few years, overtaken by "indie" as the prefix-du-jour for rock music. Now, indie isn't just rock music anymore, but pop music, and if you're looking for a touchstone to accompany the shift, there's no better example than Death Cab for Cutie. Moving from lo-fi bedroom recordings to major label recognition, Grammy nominations, and world tours, Death Cab's trajectory has mirrored the momentum of the genre, leaving college radio stations for greener pastures. Just think: a few years ago, the idea of a band like Death Cab packing a place as large as Roy Wilkins seemed like a risky proposition, but now, you start to wonder if tonight's venue will be large enough to accommodate the crowd.
And, there will be a crowd. With Death Cab headlining, as well as Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot rounding out the bill, it looks like an indie dream match. Take Death Cab's status as a popular favorite, add Cold War Kids' successful record sales, fold in Ra Ra Riot's blog hype, and bake at 89.3 degrees. Voila! Instant mob. But, don't be too put off by the popularity; each of these bands can deliver the kind of surging, big-room moments that make concerts endlessly memorable. Death Cab could work the crowd into a (well-mannered) frenzy just by playing a few favorites, the Kids have vocal drama to spare, and RRR's emotive, sweeping strings might set off a chain reaction of tears if the climate is just right. Thinking you might have déjà vu? You're probably not alone, since all three of these bands came through the Twin Cities individually late last year. But, by bundling these groups into one showcase, it turns from another concert into a can't-miss event for anyone interested in modern rock (or, um, indie). Whatever you choose to call it, showing up at least a little early wouldn't be a bad move, not only to claim your spot on the massive Roy Wilkins floor, but also to catch the solid openers. These days, if budget constraints have you cherry picking the shows you'd like to attend, make sure you get as much out of this one as you can. Death Cab for Cutie TV Ra Ra Riot @ Hype Machine Cold War Kids @ Hype Machine Death Cab for Cutie w/ Cold War Kids & Ra Ra Riot - Wed. April 15th - Roy Wilkins Auditorium - $35.00 - 7 PM