Live Review: City & Colour @ The Enmore
Written by Coco M. Devonshire - Photo by: Mark Forrer
City and Colour
is the brainchild of former Alexisonfire vocalist/guitarist Dallas Green, who has crafted his own unique brand of soulful, largely acoustic, highly emotional music which centres on his mind-blowing, knock-you-out-cold voice (not to mention his secret axeman chops). As any diehard fan will attest, that vocal will sear right through you and has that magical power to transport you back to when you first heard the song, when those catchy hooks and loaded lyrics dug right into your soul.
Dallas is flanked by, quite frankly, a killer band
... one with real rock chops that allow him to veer from sweet serenade to moments of riff-tastic majesty. This split between pared down moments and the full-scale, frenetic rock of, eg. new single Fragile Bird, all lights and riffs and screwed up guitar faces, is one of the reasons why City and Colour is such a treat live.
The crowd at the Enmore Theatre
gathered early, for when you love Dallas Green, you often love him with a furious passion. Heavily populated with beautiful 50’s paisley-wearing, bouffant-boasting girls and their pressed flannel-clad boyfriends, there was also a posse of what appeared to be former fans of Alexisonfire, all ear stretchers and a few circus ringmaster moustaches. Regardless of how you got there, the vibe was happy and joyous, at times silent and completely engaged... though Dallas had to politely ask halfway through the show
for those holding up their phones to record
the moment to kindly put them back down and just be there, experiencing the moment. Dallas said he’d rather experience the night with ‘bodies’ not phone, and everyone who had their view obstructed silently applauded.
Despite the occasional reverent silent moment, everyone lost in their own memories of the song, there was plenty of inter-song banter from Dallas with the crowd. When he introduced ‘Hello, I’m In Delaware,’ - dedicating it to old fans who’d been there since the beginning, marvelling at how far he’d come (the bloke is adorably humble despite his crazy talent) - someone shouted about their own Canadian area, and Dallas laughed about the dude starting some “Ontario beef” with him
, a St. Catherine’s native. “Do you want to start something with me?” he asked, jokingly. Dallas also asked for some kind assistance for a ‘What Makes A Man’ singalong
, calling out a guy in the crowd to start the haunting refrain.
I’m not sure if it’s a standard live practice, but halfway through Sometimes (I Wish) he burst into a cover of Sade’s No Ordinary Love, rendering it cool and romantic as hell. You could hear the swoons echo around the room. He also wasn’t averse to taking requests, rewarding a repeated scream of ‘Play Coming Home!’ with the 2005 classic in his encore. The best crowd feedback of the whole night was a guy yelling out “PLAY SOMETHING NICE”, pretty hilarious as it hadn’t exactly been horrorcore rap death metal all night.
All in all, City and Colour are a wonderful experience live - monster musicians with loads of range
, mental riffs but also moments of ponderous, sparse and beautiful brilliance that hit you square in the chest. Next time they come out (and they do it on the regular) treat yourself to a show with emotional range, cheeky humour and unforgettable melodies.
Setlist: [Please note, may be some omissions]
The death of me
Hello, I'm in Delaware
Body in a box
What makes a man
Hope for now
Check out what Dallas had to say about Aussie's when we caught up with him at Groovin the Moo.