“When I think of fates worse than death, all I can think of is something you said,” Dallas Green wistfully sang. City and Colour has never been a project based off false identities and manufactured emotions. Instead, Green – the mastermind behind it all – weaves stories of heartache, longing and lust, accompanied with frank thoughts on death and existence. It’s a far cry from his previous position in post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire but aptly suits a man whose music has matured and developed along with his life.
Situated in Newtown’s Enmore Theatre, Green took to the stage with a four-piece band, multiple guitars and an array of twinkly, beaming lights. That was it. It takes real talent to wow a large audience with minimal effects, yet City and Colour effortlessly commanded the attention of fans in a way that made the venue feel intimate and inviting. Kicking off the night with 2013 single Thirst, the band debuted a full-bodied sound with a slightly heavier edge than what we hear on any of their five albums. Northern Blues followed with smoky vocals, The Lonely Life featured radiant full strumming and painfully beautiful lyrics, and If I Should Go Before You had a solo spotlight on Green and his folksy ways.
The humble nature of Dallas Green not only shone through on stage during performances but also during snippets of banter with the crowd, particularly as he thanked everyone who came out that night and praised Australia as a ‘place that feels like a second home.’ “Places like this country taught me how to deal with this song I wrote, so thank you very much,” he said before launching into a slow, breathtaking rendition of Hello, I’m In Delaware. Green’s dulcet tones rang crystal clear from the stage to the back of the room, paired with meticulously crafted melodies designed to stop time.
The show consisted of most of City and Colour’s latest album If I Should Go Before You, paired with a solid mix of classics (Body In A Box, Sleeping Sickness, Waiting…) that kept the audience on their toes. Whilst the whole show was brimming with magical moments to satisfy die-hard fans and new converts alike, the end few numbers proved Dallas Green’s strengths lie in simple acoustic ballads. An encore of fan favourites saw Comin’ Home roll into a cheeky ode to Alexisonfire via This Could Be Anywhere In The World; however, it was love song The Girl who struck a chord and highlighted Green’s ability to write from the heart in an accessible, non-pretentious manner.
The night was wholly captivating in a way that cannot be achieved through costumes, settings and glaring stage antics. Whilst pauses between songs occassionally dragged on, the crowd never lost momentum and each song was met with a rousing reception. City and Colour is a project that breathes life into organic feelings of love, insecurity and wonder, something that translates well into a live setting of like-minded people.
“I want you to know that as long as one of you sticks around, I’m going to keep trying to come back.” If Green’s parting words are anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say this is nowhere near the last we’ll see of City and Colour.
The Lonely Life
If I Should Go Before You
Hello, I’m In Delaware
Lover Come Back
Comin’ Home // This Could Be Anywhere In The World (Alexisonfire)
Body In A Box
Fragile Bird // As Much As I Ever Could // Sorrowing Man