Tuesday, 15 March 2016

City and Colour @ Troxy : a bewitched fangirl's review.

On Saturday 29th February I ventured into East London for the best possible reason – a gig at the Troxy, and not just any gig, but the one and only Dallas Green. Better known under his quietly ingenious band name, City and Colour. 
I've seen Dallas perform live a couple of times before in recent years but even with past experience I could not be ready for the electric excitement within the venue, and the awesome on-stage presence he commands. That man and his guitar, plus a perfect backing band. 


First we were introduced to Lucy Rose. She is gorgeous, quirky and infinitely talented. Her wild acoustic beauties got us in the mood – oh, especially when she abruptly called out “Ladies and gentlemen, Dallas Green!”
The man himself walked on stage, in jeans and a casual tee, stepped up to her accompanying mic and sang along with one of her own penned singles. Just a curt nod hello – he didn't make it about himself. What a gent.
The lights went down and of course the crowd began shrieking and applauding, some even yelling above others professing their love for Dallas. I will admit I was immediately swept up in the desperate thrill, and let myself whoop a couple of times. Then the hush fell. We waited patiently, breath held.
Imagine our astonishment, then, when suddenly some ancient country music starts playing. The tension in the crowd breaks and laughter circulates – people start dancing along and chattering amongst themselves. Then Dallas takes to the stage, and all he says before launching into the first song is “We’re the Three Amigos. Even though there are five of us.”
The set list was unreal. Mostly tracks off his deep and delightful latest release ‘If I Should Go Before You’, the most exciting and dance-inducing being ‘Killing Time’, ‘Wasted Love’ and ‘Northern Blues’. He opened with his 9-minute tune ‘Woman’, which was unexpected and fantastical. It brought the most beautiful calm to the crowd; we swayed happily throughout.
Dallas also mixed it up now and again with some of the lesser known B-sides from the last couple of albums (‘Hurry and the Harm’, ‘Bring Me Your Love’).
He purposefully, famously, does not play some of his most well-known songs at his gigs. Classics from the ‘Sometimes’ album such as ‘Save Your Scissors’ and ‘Like Knives’, even ‘Sam Malone’, are never heard live these days. As a die-hard fan, I have accepted this. However, a little part of me has always yearned to hear ‘Hello, I’m in Delaware, my favourite song in the world, played live – just once.
So when Dallas started strumming rather vaguely on his snazziest electric guitar and then slowly leaned in to the mic to utter the words ‘there goes my life’, I felt my knees buckle, and there was an uproarious cheer all around me as my fellow fans realised what was happening.
As if that whole portion of the gig wasn’t emotional and beautiful enough, in his encore he played ‘Body in a Box’ and did his usual jokey spiel beforehand, saying “everyone get your cell phones out and shine the light…great, now put them in your pocket and keep them there for this entire song!” Which was, as always, met with hysterical laughter and applause. It’s no secret that Dallas hates those who hold phones up and record during his shows.
Dallas would occasionally pause between songs to utter the most gentle and sincere ‘thank you’, but I feel we should all have been thanking him, endlessly. For the most wonderful evening, packed with joy and magic.
(FULL SET LIST: ‘Thirst’, ‘Northern Blues’, ‘Two Coins’, ‘If I Should Go Before You’, ‘Killing Time’, ‘Hello, I’m in Delaware’, ‘Wasted Love’, ‘Weightless’, ‘Lover Come Back’, ‘Waiting…’, ‘Sleeping Silence’, ‘Woman’. ENCORE: ‘Body in a Box’, ‘The Girl’, ‘The Grand Optimist’, ‘As Much as I Ever Could’)


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