If the adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder needed validation, the Postal Service's show at the Mann Center on Monday night made a powerful argument in its favor. As a performing entity, their existence was barely a blip: a brief tour surrounding the release of their sole album, Give Up, in 2003, and then nothing.
But in the intervening decade, what began as a side-project lark became a commercial behemoth, the second-biggest seller in the history of the Seattle label Sub Pop, surpassed only by Nirvana's Bleach. Singer Ben Gibbard and laptop wizard Jimmy Tamborello kept busy with their musical day jobs in Death Cab for Cutie and Dntel, respectively, but questions about a follow-up album never died down. The less enthusiastic Gibbard and Tamborello seemed, the more demand grew. They'd become that elusive boy or girl whose sidelong glance could send their admirers into paroxysms of joy.