Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional—rounded out by bassist Scott Schoenbeck, guitarist Armon Jay and drummer Ben Homola—began making emotionally raw acoustic music out of South Florida at the turn of the century. The band released six full-lengths between 2000 and 2009—bursting into the mainstream with 2003’s A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar (stream it below) and 2006’s Dusk and Summer (stream it below)—before going on hiatus from 2011 to 2015. Dashboard Confessional (above, performing “Hands Down” for Paste Studios) put out a new EP, Covered and Taped (stream it below), earlier this year, covering Justin Bieber, the 1975, Julien Baker and Sorority Noise. Currently out on the road, they play SummerStage in Central Park on Thursday night. And as an added bonus, the All-American Rejects open the show.
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Dashboard Confessional – Webster Hall – December 7, 2010
Although it was released 10 years ago, Dashboard Confessional’s debut album, The Swiss Army Romance, still resonates in the hearts and minds of emo newbies and industry veterans alike. For a disc that made emoting cool, especially for a guy who was bred in hardcore, this was monumental. Last night, Dashboard Confessional—aka ex-Further Seems Forever frontman Chris Carrabba—sang his heart out to those pushed up close against the barricade all the way to the bar-hoppers in the back, and all night they sang right back at him.
Carrabba played a perfectly planned set last night, with The Swiss Army Romance’s opening track, the desperate and wailing “Screaming Infidelities,” starting the show and the upbeat “Hands Down” (from the 2003 album A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar) ending it. In between, he played his debut album in full, as well as songs from various other albums, like “This Bitter Pill,” “The Best Deceptions” and “Get Me Right.” It may have been a decade plus a number of albums later for most of these songs, but, quite impressively, never once did Carrabba’s piercingly clear voice waiver. And although he’s come a long way from these early songs, certain cuts from The Swiss Army Romance will always be some of his best. —Kirsten Housel
Dashboard Confessional plays Webster Hall next Tuesday. If you want to go, but got shut out on tickets, you’ve got another shot because The House List is giving away two of them. Want to Grow a Pair? Then fill out the form below, listing your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Dashboard Confessional, 12/7) and a brief message explaining what emo means to you. Eddie Bruiser, who somehow manages to always turn Pearl Harbor Day into a drinking holiday, will notify the winner by Tuesday. Good luck.