As the sun set and the crowd bustled to the stage, orchestral hymns and pullulating amounts of white smoke introduced the tremendously long-anticipated performance of indie-poppers The Postal Service when frontman Ben Gibbard brought it to a dramatic halt: “Okay—that's enough fog.”
He grins at the crowd, “Chicago, it’s been a long time.” Yep, a decade is a pretty long time. And including a Metro gig on Sunday, it will be their last. As fans danced and sang along to the songs of their sole 2003 album “Give Up,” the energy was ignited with the grandiose of witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime performance.
Combining the energy of live instruments with the complexity and grandeur of electronic production The Postal Service created a sound as colossal as the stage would allow, which is rare for gargantuan festivals. Gibbard’s sweet voice cadenced the group’s indie-pop favorites like “District,” “Nothing Better” and “Clark Gable” poured out to the speakers, glistening with Jimmy Tamborello’s twinkly bloops. Jenny Lewis and Jen Wood provided sleek and silky harmonies on tracks like “Nothing Better,” juxtaposing nicely Gibbard’s dorky dad demeanor and simple singing voice.
After a mesmerizing set came to a close, the audience went bizerk when the alternating stereo notes of “Such Great Heights” began. The crowd echoed every word of the song and epically waved back at the band during the chorus line “they’ll see us waving from such great heights.” This might be the end of the story of the "band from nowhere," but at least it's not a bad way to go out.
RECOMMENDED: See our complete coverage of Lollapalooza 2013.