Bands have been known to announce their departure and change their minds – Nine Inch Nails did just play Lollapalooza, after all – but Ben Gibbard seemed pretty definitive that last night’s Postal Service show was the band’s swan song.
“Not only will this be the last song of the tour, this is the last song we will ever do,” the singer announced before the Postal Service played their second rendition of “Such Great Heights” at 1:30 this morning at a Lollapalooza after-party at Metro in Chicago.
In announcing on social media the day before that the show would be the band’s last-ever live appearance, Gibbard had called on fans to come celebrate the occasion. He expressed gratitude to the crowd for helping to mark the occasion. “I know it’s been a long weekend, you guys have been in the sun,” he said. “Thanks for coming out to celebrate.”
Gibbard did his part throughout the night to keep the mood light and festive. For instance, in introducing the rest of the group about halfway through the 90-minute set, he playfully threatened his bandmates. “This is the last show, I can tell you what I always thought of you,” he joked, though the singer had nothing but kind words for bandmates Jimmy Tamborello, Jenny Lewis, and Laura Burhenn.
While Gibbard was talkative throughout the night it was the group’s electro-pop hooks that created demand for this year’s tour for the 10th anniversary of their 2003 album Give Up, resulting in packed sets at both Lollapalooza and Metro. Those engaging melodies and synth lines were in full effect throughout the show, from the opening “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” Other standouts during the set included a rollicking cover of Beat Happening’s “Our Secret,” “Clark Gable,” the almost childlike whimsy of “There’s Never Enough Time,” the sweet simplicity of “Turn Around” and, of course, the band’s signature hit, “Such Great Heights.”
Though they had played it only a few songs earlier, there was no more apt farewell than reprising the song at the end. So following an encore of the Dntel cover “(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan” and “Brand New Colony,” the Postal Service closed down, as Gibbard put it, with the entire crowd jumping and singing along to “Such Great Heights,” bringing the celebration Gibbard sought. “You guys have been wonderful, thank you so much,” he said. “That’s it.”