No Longer Just a Side ProjectDecember 8th, 2011
City and Colour – Terminal 5 – December 7, 2011
It’s easy to lose sight of musical talent in the alternative-music scene, what with all the jump kicks, screams and bass spins that often distract. And while some of that is fun, talent should always win out, which isn’t always easy. But it’s an uphill battle that Dallas Green has been fighting for the better part of a decade since he decided he wanted to do more than just make the post-hardcore music he was crafting with the band Alexisonfire.
And if last night’s show at Terminal 5 was any indication, he’s certainly making great progress. What started as your typical I-need-another-creative-outlet side project in City and Colour has turned into a full-fledged effort, as four other members, who were laying down their best folk and country sounds, accompanied Green onstage all night. While the music was great, to be blunt, the showstopper is by far Green’s voice. His utterly pure vocals drew every gaze in the crowd to his off-center position at stage right from the moment the band led off with “We Found Each Other in the Dark,” the opening track from last year’s excellent Little Hell.
The normal concert routines of swaying, dancing and even clapping for the most part were suspended, as if performing any one of those actions would risk missing something the tattooed singer did. The audience was so focused on capturing those moments that Green even paused midset to ask that everyone spend one song (“Body in a Box”) with no cameras or phones in the air, a request that was immediately met by the adoring fans. Green rewarded them by including them in the experience even more as he called out lyrics and let them respond, and even teaching them backup parts to sing during the chorus of “What Makes a Man.” Dallas Green may have started City and Colour to play the music he loved in his own way, but it’s clear now that he’s found many others who love it, too. —Sean O’Kane