Canadian singer/songwriter Dallas Green kindly bought his City & Colour project back to Sydney last week for another year of back to back sold out shows! Following a huge demand from us Australian fans, this was the second time Dallas has been out to tour his third full-length album Little Hell.
I've been lucky enough to see City & Colour a handful of times now, and each time Dallas has delivered the collection of heartfelt songs we have all come to know and expect of this acoustic-folk luminary. But last week's show was something different entirely... Dallas was no longer the lone ranger, but instead stood prominently towards the left hand side of the stage and conveyed himself as equal to his four bandmates. This gave the entire show a sort of zealous energy, analogous to his recent departure from mainly acoustic beginnings to the fuller sounding tracks of the latest release.
I should stop here and be completely honest with you guys... I did not receive the release of Little Hell with wide open arms last year. As a long time City & Colour fan, I was no stranger to those acoustic classics. For years they had become the soundtrack to my life. Certain tracks were applied to certain situations, and lyrics were interpreted to invoke way too much emotion in a way that most prepubescent teens so frequently do. And I think it was the raw, stripped back acoustic that facilitated this. So when City & Colour embarked on the bold new sound that is Little Hell, I was quick to give it a second place status.
Now having heard Dallas's voice flow effortlessly over those warm guitars, simple keys and subtle percussion live, my opinion has completely changed. I stood in absolute awe from the moment they opened with We Found Each Other In The Dark, and my jaw remained gravitated towards the floor for the remainder of the evening.
While Dallas is a quiet man, crowd interactions were aplenty. He proved he can still charm an audience with his did bit stories. He recruited us for backup vocals during What Makes A Man, and encouraged us to dance to Fragile Bird. For Body In A Box, Dallas did something no other artist has ever done and asked us to put away the phones and cameras, and just experience the show for what is was, to which we all respectfully obliged.
The set was highlighted by a breathtaking performance of my favourite track The Girl. For that six minute period, I was whisked away to a world of wonder. While I sang along and sort of slow danced on the outside, I was pondering life's greatest questions on the inside. I was deep in thought for the first half, wondering about the lady the song was written for. What was she like? What happened in her life? Where is she now? Then the song song kicked over into its more upbeat second-half and I was consumed with happiness, remembering how my very beautiful friends shared their first dance as a married couple to this song only two weekends ago. I've said that only my teenage self did this when listening to City & Colour songs, but in all reality, Dallas's voice just beams with so much honesty and heart-felt emotion that it's almost impossible to stand there and not be guided through some sort of self-evaluation. I'm sure I'm not alone in this...
A two-track encore featuring crowd favourite Comin' Home saw the audience hang on every last chord as the evening drew to a close. Where I'd usually be a complete chatter-box on the way home, this time round I was so stumped on finding the right words to express what I'd just seen and heard. Each and every song were both lyrically and atmospherically alluring, and delivered in a way my now adult self could appreciate fully.
Just a quick note on the photos... This was my very first attempt at indoor concert photography guys! I ended up taking over 120 photos (up until Dallas asked us to put the cameras away) and decided to salvage and show just these seven. While most were hindered by the drunk Peter Brady swaying to and fro in front of me, others were just plain awful (& blurry). But, in saying that I think I've managed to stay true to the mantra that editing the selection is more important than shooting it and come up with some goods! These haven't been altered with any editing software either. The colours you see are the colours I saw!! No rose-tinted Sierra or Nashville effects up in here. What do you think?