Mrs F, Daughter-of-Furtheron and your truly went to see City and Colour down at the seaside last week. This was mostly a Daughter-of-Furtheron driven gig as she's been a big Dallas Green fan since he set out on his solo material. I remember sticking my head into her room some years back and said "Who is this? I like it." She explained who Dallas was, I knew of Alexisonfire and therefore I wasn't expecting this acoustic alt country/folk singer/songwriter stuff. Since then we've both been fans. Interestingly my daughter prefers his earlier stuff and I've been the one buying the last three recent albums. As he has grown the City and Colour thing has become more a band setting live and in the studio and he has grown from the alt.country/folk roots to more alt.indy soft rock.
So the band kicked off with Woman the opener from the latest album If I Should Go Before You. Now there is a stunning opener - it builds and roars and soars and Dallas voice holds you in both it's authority and vulnerability. Honestly I think the guy is blessed with one of the greatest voices on the planet in that he has this stunning vulnerability without it losing it's place in the music at all and holding a certain authority that allows him to portray his own brand of melancholy that run through much of his material.
Much of the set was from the latest album but he also did delve back into his back catalogue and the further you went back through Little Hell and further there was a significant difference in the songs. Dallas has re-imaged the songs from the earlier catalogue around the latest band structure, strengths and sounds so they sounded bigger, broader and more band orientated. All totally in a great way - I thought it a highlight of how those songs were re-imagined.
For the encore Dallas reappeared with acoustic guitar on his own and we were back into his country/folk roots before the band returned for a stunning closing on one of my favourite tracks of his "Hope for Now" from Little Hell and if you know that track you'll know when the band crashed in soaring with distorted guitars, drums, bass etc. rising and rising a crescendo and slow let down.
Brilliant Brilliant gig. Dallas voice is actually better live than on record - how is that possible?!
First time any of us had been to the venue, Brighton Dome, which was very good and whilst I didn't see any issues my wife said the security did efficiently and speedily deal with some issues in the stand crowd beneath us. I'd recommend the circle seats there as we had a great view. However driving into Brighton was a nightmare, it's been some years since I've driven there and frankly the road changes to give buses priority have made it a disaster.
The one whole downer was my tinnitus being a hassle throughout the day and the gig. I wore earplugs throughout which helped so at least the music was rarely painful but I can't deny it did interfere as it so often does now.
I should give a shout out too to Lucy Rose who was the superb support artist. Not someone I've ever heard before but she has a good style and sound and great songwriting. Finally the audience should be applauded also for especially during Lucy's set being incredibly respectful. Too often I've been at gigs where everyone seems more intent on holding conversations that could wait for the journey home or the bar at the interval. However Lucy played Shiver which is very quiet piece in places - you could hear a pin drop as the audience respected the performance - well done Brighton I salute you.