As a long-time Death Cab fan, I have somehow overlooked this release, and only picked it up recently when I saw it on the cheap in the used bin of my local indie record store. Boy, am I glad I finally picked this up!
"The John Byrd E.P." (released Spring 2005; 7 tracks; 38 min.) is named after DCFC's tour sound engineer, and it brings a great (if incomplete, of course) overview/impression of what the band sounded like on its Spring of 2004 tour in support of the then-recently released "Transatlanticism" album. The EP jumps in with 2 great and energy-bursting tracks from "The Photo Album", "We Laugh Indoors" and ""Why You'd Wanna Live Here". It is followed by a more pensive "Lightness" from "Transatlanticism". Long-time fan-fave "Photobooth" (from the "Forbidden Love" EP) follows, and sounds just great. The 7+ min. "We Looked Like Giants" (from "Transatlanticism") and the "405" (from "We Have All the Facts") follow, setting up the piece-de-resistance, the 7+ min. medley "Blacking Out the Friction/Brand New Love", the former a great take on the "Photo Album" track, and the latter being a cover song, just great. Ben Gibbard is in great form throughout on this recording, talking to the crowd, making jokes, etc.
In all, this is one terrific recording. Calling it an EP is really an injustice as this runs at 38 min. (similar to Radiohead's underappreciated "I Might Be Wrong" mini-album live release). This was released by the band's now former (indie) label Barsuk, just before the band jumped to a major label, probably a reason why this release has remained so much under the radar. DCFC is currently STILL touring behind their most recent album "Narrow Stairs" and I will be seeing them again in April. Can't wait for that. Meanwhile, "The John Byrd E.P." is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all DCFC fans.