Live (July 6th, 2006)
Rexall Place - Edmonton, AB
First off, I was slightly disappointed going into the concert since the main band I wanted to see, Say Anything had just dropped off the bill. Still, the show was a success despite that and my initial worries concerning the venue choice. In the end, the venue didn’t really effect the outcome, and the show went off with only one minor hitch – but more on that later.
John Ralston was the first band on the three band bill. The Dashboard Confessional band member took center stage (with some help from other DC members) and kicked off the show quite nicely. His voice was solid, as he played acoustically lead songs like Chris Carraba does. Being a relative new project, I wasn’t aware of many of Ralston‘s songs, but he definitely convinced me to check out some of his stuff. Luckily, there were some people who knew who he was and after a request from the crowd, he closed the set with Gone, Gone, Gone. Overall, he put on a solid performance, lots of energy and kicked off the show perfectly.
Next up was fan favorite City & Colour. I was skeptical about his performance and excited for it after seeing him a few months ago in a much more intimate surrounding, I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to put on the same sort of personal performance as he did before. When he came on with an added guitarist and pianist, I was worried even more, but all my worries were put to rest as he slowly started strumming his guitar. Sadly, it wasn’t nearly as intimate as he was back at the Myer Horowitz, he still made the coliseum feel surprisingly small, which was great.
Dallas Green once again proved how good a performer he was by his pure simplicity towards everything. No big stage presence or insane antics, just him and some friends (we found out later that the pianist was his cousin and the guitarist was his friend Casey Baker who also has a solo project) playing heartfelt music. He played the songs perfectly, going through tracks like Comin’ Home, Casey’s Song and Little Knives (I think). Of course, one of the fan favorites out there was Hello, I’m In Delaware which got a giant response from the crowd, along with a sing along portion. Throughout it all, he kept the crowd entertained pulling back old jokes from his last performance and bringing in Baker for a comical little interchange. It was just a relaxing performance as he ended the set with Save Your Scissors where he forced the crowd to sing the chorus and a brand new song, saying he wanted to leave the crowd with something new as he’s going on tour with Alexisonfire and it’ll be a long time before he does anything else City & Colour related.
After City & Colour, the emo mastermind Chris Carraba took the stage with his band, Dashboard Confessional. Before anything else, we must discuss the stage setting for the set though, as it was spectacular. The best way to describe it would be a giant cozy mansion. Floating lamps in front of a gigantic brick wall with windows looking out into the distance. Throughout the set, the view from the windows changed thanks to multiple special effects, showing eerie trees to a dark night sky full of shooting stars. It was very impressive, but before that was even revealed to the crowd, they showed some artistic talents with the placement of the shadows on the giant white curtain covering the backdrop. The band entered the stage as solely shadows before having the curtain drop to the ground (except for the right corner which got stuck for half a minute – there’s the minor hitch I was talking about).
Quite frankly, Dashboard Confessional did was a headlining band should do: they played with all their heart and put on a spectacular performance. In regular fashion, Carraba constantly stepped back from the mic urging the energetic crowd to take over vocal duties – which they did willingly. Carraba was passionate like always, and jumped/ran a lot more than I had expected. He only stripped down to him by himself on a few tracks, as he was backed up by his band (including John Ralston) for the most part of the set. They covered a wide selection of songs, including The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, Hands Down, Turpentine Chaser, Screaming Infidelities and more. A few songs off their most recent album made the set list, the single Don’t Wait and the title track Dusk And Summer being two of them.
Their performance was great, and for any fan of the band it was a night in heaven. With a set a little longer than an hour and a half, Dashboard Confessional played the set all the hardcore fans wanted to see. But for the casual fan, like myself the hour and a half did start to drag on after a while, a group of four people behind us left an hour into it because they were getting bored. Despite any drag in the middle, they ended on a superb high after a ear splitting roar for an encore (easily the loudest encore demand I’ve ever heard) they came back with Vindicated and The Best Deceptions and had everyone standing and singing along. They walked off to a standing ovation and promises to come back and capped off a nice little soft rock night.