Dashboard Confessional w/ special guests City & Colour and John Ralston
June 30th, 2006
Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON
First things first: NOT the ideal venue for this show. This music deserves to be coddled. To be listened to in a sound acoustic environment with great reverberation. Not a place with concrete walls.
However, the show was popular and therefor, it was held at a larger venue.
John Ralston, a player in Dashboard, took to the stage first. To be entirely honest, I think there were perhaps fifteen people in the entire place that noticed he was on the stage. No lights, no introduction. In my opinion, he has definite talent. He just needs to grasp this talent and project it more fully. Sure, he was the opening act, and the production was understated in an inappropriate venue, but I still feel he could have done more to be noticed. Overall, decent songs, good live performance, but lacking any wow factor.
City & Colour went on next – vocalist/guitarist Dallas Green, accompanied by cousin Nick (sorry, I don’t know his last name! Green, possibly?) on keys, and friend Casey Baker (lead singer of the band Sleeper Set Sail) on guitar. Again I must state that this was a less than appropriate venue. I’ve had the experience of seeing Dallas twice before in intimate bar settings, and it became my understanding that he was easily distracted while performing. Because of this, I did notice the high number of people wandering around, talking, and just all around not paying attention during his set, and found myself wondering if he were getting upset. If he was, he sure didn’t show it.
His performances are always great – strictly because of the overall quality of his vocals, and his playing – but tonight was not his best. He sang his songs, and did a good job, but failed to fully engross the crowd – which he certainly has the talent to do. Again, I’d like to lay blame on the environment. Overall, I’d say his set was well-received but lacked the intimacy it meritted.
Finally Dashboard Confessional hit the stage. The vocals and performance were great. Not only did Chris Carrabba seem into it, but the entire band seemed to be having a great time performing. They played a nice mix of older hits, and new songs, to keep happy older and newer fans alike. Saving their two biggest for the double encore (Hands Down & Vindicated), the only true (and somewhat irrelevant) complaint I have is Carrabba’s on-stage attire: a white t-shirt with tight cream coloured pants doesn’t flatter anyone – especially under the influence of heavy stage lighting. The energy was high, the dynamic was great, and though the sound was alright, the charisma more than made up for it.