Standing slightly off centre, Dallas Green takes to the stage to perform as the better known City and Colour for the second night of his UK tour. The sold out gig is one that surpasses any other I’ve been to for a long time. A still atmosphere, not caused by not knowing the words but on the contrary, the loss of words. Having already been on stage once to duet alongside support act Lucy Rose, there was no dramatic entrance for Green; instead, he strolls on following his band and stands humbly and quiet without saying a word to begin his set.
Setting the show off with the nine-minute long ‘Woman’, the opening song of his latest album If I Should Go Before You, Green lives up to all the expectations. After hours of YouTubing and scrutinising that it was unreal for someone to have such an outstanding voice in real life, Green not only established that this was possible, but restored my faith in that musicians are invariably better live than on CD. Barely talking throughout the set he only comments the short but meaningful “thank you so much for allowing us to be here”, as if he were the support act instead of on a headline tour.
It wasn’t just the vocal talent of Green and the instrumentals from the band that made this show so beautiful, but the sheer compassion behind it all
After playing his newest songs for a good half of the set, Green threw back to his decade old, first album Sometimes with ‘Hello, I’m in Delaware’. The crowd put down their phones and stood in awe as the band were blacked out and the spotlight was just on Green and his acoustic. The song was never released as a single, but its moving lyrics and soft melody has since made it one of City and Colour’s most well-known. A minute or two after finishing, he quickly tries to bring the crowd back to life with the chords of ‘Wasted Love’ laughing as he says “Who’s got their dancing shoes on? We’re going to move from a slow sad song to a fast sad song… well not fast… medium tempo sad song”.
It wasn’t just the vocal talent of Green and the instrumentals from the band that made this show so beautiful, but the sheer compassion behind it all. In a similar fashion to Lucy Rose who was beyond grateful to be on tour with her favourite band, City and Colour didn’t need show-stopping visuals or jokes to make it a memorable night. They expressed their gratitude at being given the opportunity to play in front of people that came to listen and who also took something from their music. It revives the idea that live music is just as delightful when it’s stripped of its need to become a spectacle.