2012 vancity music

Favourite Voice: City & Colour

On Thursday night I went to see City & Colour (aka Dallas Green and friends) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, almost 2 years to the day from the last time I saw C & C play there, during the Olympics. Dallas has one of the best voices around, and you can't really appreciate its clarity until you hear it live. The effortless, somehow husky falsetto - well, it's just magic. Bring Me Your Love and Sometimes have been albums in heavy rotation at Casa Lemon for some years now. It's taking me longer to get into his latest, Little Hell, but that's another story for another time.

City & Colour's lineup now includes Daniel Romano (guitar n' stuff), Scott Remila (bass n' stuff), Dylan Green (drums) and Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel), and the lads were kitted out in matching natty black suits for the show. Daniel and Scott sang harmony with Dallas on a number of songs - a highlight was "As Much As I Ever Could," from Bring Me Your Love - but there were also plenty of songs that were just Dallas and a guitar, which - well, you can't really top that.

The crowd was pretty much the same as the last City & Colour show I attended - young girls screaming "I love you DAAAALLLLLLAAAS" (there was a great one in front of me who was filming on her iPhone AND her camera, for the ENTIRE show), loved-up couples, and a surprising number of rowdy drunk dudes. Dallas seems very aware of who makes up his audience. Before performing "Body in a Box," he asked everyone to put down their cellphones and cameras. "You're trying so hard to remember it that you're not actually experiencing it," he admonished us. Then he smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not mad at you." He also asked if anyone was coming to the Friday night show - and was met with a chorus of squeals. "Sorry girls, it'll be a lot of the same jokes."

The boys in their suits, from left: Dallas, Aaron, Scot, Dylan, Daniel

I was surprised that the setlist for the show was - well, pretty much the same setlist as the show two years ago, with a few additions from Little Hell. In fact, as good as it was, I kind of had deja vu the whole time. Certainly, the choice to play plenty of songs from Bring Me Your Love, knowing full well that it's the album people know best - well, that was smart. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleasing kind of move. But for those of us who were there last time around, it was a little disappointing.

Blurry Dallas.

Still, all in all, it's hard for City & Colour to put on a bad show - Dallas is just a great live performer. If you haven't seen City & Colour live - go. But if you have? Well, you didn't miss much on Thursday.