On Friday September 5, an eclectic mix of fans poured into the Greek Theatre for James Supercave, City and Colour, and The Head and The Heart.
Initially the crowd seemed rather disengaged with City and Colour’s set, but the Canadian outfit quickly won them over with a soothing, yet powerful live mix of heartfelt songs and thunderous instrumentals. Vocalist Dallas Green takes his live performance as a full band to a new dimension, apart from his previously recorded material. While his latest album The Hurry and the Harm (2013) was a solid collection of folk and indie rock tracks, its primary focus was Green’s vocals and lyrics. During this performance, however, Green’s full touring band took over in an almost garage style of carefree rock ‘n’ roll presence.
Of course, for anyone familiar with Dallas Green’s musical career, a riveting live show is no surprise in the slightest. My first encounter with Green in a live setting was in a vastly different environment — 2009 in Ventura, California at the iconic Vans Warped Tour. I first saw the — now defunct — post-hardcore act, Alexisonfire. The early 2000s post-hardcore boom was just starting to wane in the industry as MySpace and all the bands that arose out of it were starting to adapt or fade, and Alexisonfire was no special exception. A highlight of the band — and a common theme of the genre entirely at the time — was the varying range of multiple vocalists. Wade McNeil (Gallows, Black Lungs) and George Pettit (Black Lungs) covered the grittier shouted and screamed vocals, while Dallas Green balanced the group with his clean, relaxing melodies. While my first encounter with Green was not a cool, joyful night at the Greek, but rather in the form of a sweaty, muddy circle pit in the southern California heat, it was clear at the time that his writing and singing style held value in other pursuits.
Green found use for his softer style in 2004 via a natural mixture of folk and indie rock under the moniker City and Colour. (City referring to his first name Dallas, Colour referring to his last name Green).
During Friday night’s performance, the combination of sound and lights played together intricately, calming the crowd through his twangy love songs such as “Two Coins” and engaging them through his resounding, in-your-face tracks like “Thirst”. They sang along, swaying side to side during love song “The Girl”, and the full band awakened the crowd in a violent, distorted jam in their closing track “Death’s Song,” with which they brought their set to a triumphant end. Both electric guitars and electric bass were laid in front of their cabinets as the band bowed and exited the stage, leaving the Greek Theatre with a buzzing, pulsating final note, screeching out a reminder that there was more to come, but that the heavy-hitters of the lineup were finally out.
As for what’s next, City and Colour announced Monday that he will be taking part in a collaboration with Alecia Moore (AKA P!nk) titled You + Me. That debut album, roseave., is expected October 14 via RCA Records. So while City and Colour may not have any new releases or extensive tours in the near future, Green will be plenty busy with new music for all of our emotional and soulful folk needs.
Article by Atreyue Ryken
Photos by Samantha Putt