City And Colour

By Christina Croucher

Artist:  City And Colour

Date / Venue:  Monday December 16th, Civic Theatre, Auckland

When Canadian musician Dallas Green who is known as City and Colour walked on stage at The Civic last night with his guitar and mellow presence you could hear the loyalty and love from his fans. When he opened his mouth to that first high resonate note the crowd dropped into silence; Dallas has a voice that reaches far beyond him, transforming thoughtful lyrics into masterpieces with the power of his vocals.

The first song played was Forgive Me accompanied by his 4 piece band consisting of guitarist Dante Schwebel, drummer Doug McGregor, pedal steel and keyboard player Matt Kelly, bassist Jack Lawrenceand Dallas himself on guitar the whole concert (switching constantly between acoustic and electric). The band stayed with him to rev up the first part of the set, an uprising sound of electric guitar, synth and powerhouse instrumentals with Dallas' vocals being the river that streamed it all together. Some songs would uniquely start off acoustic then movingly climax into full blown rock. This was demonstrated beautifully in the haunting and hypnotising As Much As I Ever Could. The intense and cleverly executed light show carefully mapped out these transitions to form a complete complimentary visual to the sounds and performance.

Although captivating as the light show was by the middle of the set I think a break was well needed and off walked the 4 boys to leave Dallas alone under subtle lighting with his acoustic. Everyone was pleased that the first solo he did was Body In A Box; a well-known favourite of fans from his 2008 album Bring Me Your Love. Dallas introduced this song as a conversation he had with his father, and as many of Dallas' songs do it reflects his deep contemplation on the world outside him. You could have heard a pin drop during the beautifully sad Comin Home then another love song, Northern Wind.

Next Dallas played one of the standouts from his current album The Hurry and The Harm, Paradise. The song which Dallas said in his interview reflects his state of mind while he was writing the album. The song started off with Dallas's heady tone as the centrepiece then the band came back on stage and turned it into We Found Each Other In The Dark. I truly got whole body shivers by the time Dallas got to the lines "I need to see the leafs change and the snowflakes falling. I need to hear the colder wind whistling through the winter pines" in the first verse of The Golden State.

The band picked it up to where they started from and got the electric guitar heated up again with Thirstoff The Hurry and The Harm and Fragile Bird off 2011's Little Hell. Then they crescendoed to the powerfulSorrowing Man in which Dallas vocals were incredible.

The encore was Dallas' acoustic and steady version of The Girl which was picked up to a swing beat by the band then very last was Two Coins which was introduced as Dallas's favourite song.

City and Colour was amazing and I have to mention the band to watch out for from Australia who opened the concert; Husky. They are the touring band with City and Colour and are definitely a band to check out if you haven't already.