Death Cab for Cutie rocked the Thunderdome at last night’s free concert, rewarding UCSB for registering the most student voters in 2008.
The indie icons hit the stage at 9 p.m., following a thirty-minute opening act performance by Ra Ra Riot. Death Cab for Cutie played an hour-and-forty-five-minute set consisting of favorites such as “Crooked Teeth,” “The Sound of Settling” and “Soul Meets Body,” as well as music from their latest EP The Open Door.
Dylan Bowes, a third-year English major, said it was refreshing to see musicians who want to reward college campuses for being politically active.
“The concert was wonderful,” Bowes said. “It’s fun to support a band that really supports the campus and what we do. It’s cool that they care about people voting and teamed up with the students. I hope this sets an example for other schools to follow.”
Moreover, Ferron Sagala, a first-year biology major, was ecstatic that the opening band consisted of not only skilled musicians, but “pretty ladies” as well.
“It was unexpected, but expected,” Sagala said. “Ra Ra Riot was a pleasant surprise. Alexandra the cello woman was pretty, pretty. Death Cab was amazing. I didn’t think they would sound so good live. I’m speechless right now. We need more free concerts like this.”
According to A.S. Program Board Cultural Arts and Lectures Coordinator Christie McSweeney, almost 4,000 students filled the Events Center last night. The concert was exclusively for the UCSB community as the prize its Ultimate College Bowl victory – a national competition between college campuses that awards scholarships and concerts to encourage student voter registration.
UCSB won the concert last fall for its record voter registration in the 2008 presidential election, ultimately registering 10,857 students and defeating UC Berkeley at the last minute by 358 voters. The university also claimed the highest voter registration percentage, with 51 percent of the total student population.
According to Ramin Azhir, a second-year biology major, UCSB’s accomplishments are too often overlooked due its party-school reputation.
“Everyone has this false perception of UCSB,” Azhir, who waited eight hours in line, said. “Just the fact that we won this contest shows that we’re taking back our pride and showing that we are politically active.”
Kelly Morrison, a second-year biology major, also said students are underestimated without good reason.
“A lot of people think our generation is so apathetic,” Morrison said. “This shows that we obviously care.”
Attendees proceeded to cheer, stomp and scream for “one more song” when the band left the stage after performing their final piece. Death Cab for Cutie returned minutes later, performing an encore to appease the zealous crowd.
Natalie Hemmes, a first-year communication major, said she was surprised the band was willing to perform so many additional songs on top of their already lengthy set.
“[Death Cab for Cutie] sounded better than they did on the radio,” Hemmes said. “Ra Ra Riot was really good, they were so precious. It was especially nice to have three additional songs. I was just expecting one, then they performed a second and then a third. I was like, ‘keep them coming.’ They really appreciate their fans.”
Furthermore, McSweeney, a third-year communication major, said the night was a great gift for students.
“I think it was an awesome show,” McSweeney said. “It was a great reward for students who like to vote. The hour-forty-five-minute set was a record. They played a super awesome long set.”