A Night With City and Colour

I’m baaaaack! Hi everyone! I’m back from New York City- it was crazy fun, and crazy busy, definitely an experience I won’t forget. Before I get too much into my trip (which those photos will come once I’ve edited them), before I left I had the chance to see City and Colour perform at the  Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, and it was incredible.

City & Colour
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Every concert experience is different, this one has got to be the most different of them all for me. All the shows I’ve gone to in the past have been punk, or pop shows where things get a little rowdy, or people just want to dance. Now with Dallas Green, known as City and Colour, his music is altogether something different. He plays, if you don’t already know, acoustic folk music; it’s very chill. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure if people would be standing, if they would be sitting the whole time I just had to wait and find out. I later found, it was mostly sitting, but I defied them all and stood all night!

The crowd was a mix of age groups, genders and races, so many people coming together for the love of this music. What I didn’t expect was for it to be a majority couples show; everyone had brought their significant other, and I was all alone, literally I went by myself. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone at a concert, even Dallas Green’s wife was in the audience, not even five feet from me. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a great time.

He played songs I didn’t think he’d play, and then he didn’t play what I thought he would play. I for sure thought he would play Save Your Scissors since that was his first single, gosh 11 years ago. I thought that was going to be his last song, but I was wrong; but let’s start from the beginning shall we.

The evening started, the sun was just setting over Lake Ontario; now that should paint you a pretty picture, it was still hot from the day, the opening act, Shakey Graves made his way to the stage to play us a few songs. He was soulful and a little theatrical. The faces he made while playing you could tell he meant what he sang. As much as I had no idea who he was, he played a good set with upbeat tunes, and some slower folksier stuff too. All in all, he made for a fun start to the night.

The lights came up, and a version of Back To Life by Soul II Soul started playing. It was an interesting way to start the show, as he broke into his first song Woman, which turned into Thirst.

What I found was he doesn’t really talk much. He said hello to the crowd, and he comes off shy, then launches right into Northern Blues.

If I Should Go Before You is his next song. His sweet crooning to the audience is both adorable and captivating. He then moves into Killing Time, where he ditches his guitar.He’s got these quirky dance moves until half way through the song he retrieves his guitar where he looks at home. I think this is the moment I realized that his songs are really loveable and full of songs for couples. I remember when his latest album If I Should Go Before You came out, someone had reviewed saying it was like falling in love all over again, and for the longest time I couldn’t see that. Seeing Dallas Green preform these songs, I could finally see it as the couples around me swayed to the music and got all lovey dovey.

His next song was a stripped down version of Hello, I’m in Delaware. This was one of the songs I didn’t think he’d play, but I’m very glad he did. His voice is like magic, smooth and calming. He is just as good as his recordings, if not better. I swear if you ever get the chance to see him perform, do it because it’s so worth it.

He then tells us all get up from our seats. He asks who’s still sitting. Everyone is on their feet as Wasted Love kicks in, and everyone is dancing, and having a good time. Up next is Lover Come Back, yet another one of his sweet, couple-esque songs. This had everyone swaying yet again.

He launches into an oldie, but a goodie, Waiting.

He stops for a minute or so, and then says let’s just take three minutes to forget about the hate that is going on in the world. I found it perfect that at around that moment the CN Tower that was beside lite up like a rainbow. That’s when he started to play We Found Each Other in the Dark. I didn’t expect this song at all. This is one of my favourites, and I am just so happy that this was performed.

Then another song I didn’t think he’d play because it’s a duet with Gordon Downie, but as I write this it makes perfect sense why he sang Sleeping Sickness. Gordon Downie is the lead singer of another Canadian band Tragically Hip, and recently he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. God, listening to the lyrics of this song, it’s just heartbreaking.

But we couldn’t stay sad for long as then he started to play Runaway, off his newest album.

His next song he dedicated to Ellen, which I believe is a dedication to his mother, but please don’t quote me on this, as the next song he played was Grand Optimist. Boy did he rock the socks out of this song. Gosh his voice has so many levels to it, all I can say he’s truly talented and amazing.

A brief intermission where it’s absolutely unclear if he’s coming back. But he comes back with Forgive Me, which he then launched into a solo, a very good solo. After this he did a cover of The Tragically Hip’s song Bobcaygeon, for his friend Gordon Downie. It was a wonderful salute to his friend; truly moving, and the crowd was so into it. I’m not a fan of The Tragically Hip so I don’t know any of their songs so I can’t say how the cover compares, but after listening to the original song on YouTube, I think Dallas Green did a really good job.

For the most part of the show, the backing lights have been sporadic and very flashy, but for the first time during his whole set the lights were set to the Canada flag and he began Comin’ Home. Yet another song I didn’t think he’d play (I really meant it when I said he played a lot of songs I didn’t expect). This was yet another very stripped down version of the song, and it was just so good (I don’t know how many times I can state this.)

He continued this with a cover of Alexisonfire’s song This Could Be Anywhere in the World. I never listened to them, as this was the band Dallas Green’s band before he started City and Colour, who have a whole different sound, but he played it acoustically, which was very well done.

And then, The Girl happened. Omg swoon worthy, enough said.

As the night wore on and was obviously coming to an end, a thing no one ever wants, the crowd is yelling “Encore!” “Encore!” “Encore!” Dallas appears back on stage, and the humble man that he is tells the crowd “you shouldn’t all be here, you should be out there listening to something else, something that’s not this.” I don’t think he ever expected his music to ever get as big as it has, but the man is talented so he should get all this love.

He pumps it up with Fragile Bird where he showed us his talented vocals yet again. He definitely proves his worth. We then dip down to yet another slow swaying song As Much as I Ever Could.

When the final song started to play, there was this atmosphere to the place that just suggested that no one wanted to go home, didn’t want the show to ever be over. He ended by playing Sorrowing Man, which I’m still confused about. To me this isn’t an ending song. It’s quite depressing and didn’t help the atmosphere at all. Normally you leave a concert feeling so pumped, but the song just left the air to the place feeling rather melancholy, and a little gloomy. As much as he put on this amazing set, I wasn’t too happy about the way it ended. In my opinion he should have ended with Save Your Scissors, but what can I do. I had an amazing time and I would not hesitant to see him again.



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