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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Death Cab for Cutie

Tonight @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

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Milwaukee's most die-hard Death Cab for Cutie fans probably caught the band back in April, when the group headlined a sold-out show at the Riverside Theater backed by The Magik*Magik Orchestra, the San Francisco ensemble that lent arrangements to the group's 2011 album Codes and Keys. They can expect a different show this time around. Death Cab is leaving the orchestra behind for the summer leg of their U.S. tour, which is welcome news for fans who want to hear the group cut loose a bit. Since 2004, when the Washington indie-rock band signed to Atlantic Records on the strength of their sweeping 2003 album, Transatlanticism, and buzz around singer Ben Gibbard's glitch-pop side project The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie has had two beasts to serve: the new audience they picked up on commercial alternative stations, and old fans who came of age listening to Gibbard's erudite tales of heartbreak. The band's career-spanning live sets toss plenty of red meat to both camps, drawing almost equally from their fastidious major-label albums and their heart-on-sleeve independent releases.