Photo: Markus Ravik
“We’re City and Colour and we’re from Canada.” Dallas Green with his touring band and members from support act/friends Bahamas took to the seasoned Tivoli Theatre stage Tuesday night in what was show one of two for Brisbane on his Little Hell Australian tour.
‘We Found Each Other In The Dark’ begins the anticipated set and needless to say the packed out Tivoli is captivated. ‘Natural Disaster’ and ‘Sleeping Sickness’ from 2003’s Bring Me Your Love still see Dallas and the band silent with barely any banter other than instruction to “sing it if you know it” throughout ‘Sleeping Sickness’. As the show progresses, I can’t blame Green for wanting to remain somewhat quite as he’s asked repeatedly to marry strangers and play Alexisonfire songs. That shit gets old fast people! Before heading into ‘The Grand Optimist’, Green confesses it is a song “about his folks” and it is one that beautifully exhibits the Canadians way with words. With a plain black backdrop and tame lightshow, City and Colour’s presence on stage is simple and to be honest, refreshing. Green’s self deprecating lyrics are delivered so honestly and intimately, meaning there is no need for a smoke and mirrors performance. His music stands alone and speaks for itself.
Commenting that playing the Tivoli last year was “one of the best shows I ever played”, Green receives an excited collective whoop from the audience and sets the challenge to make this time round better. A blues inspired version of ‘As Much As I Ever Could’ has the crowd swaying with the emotion of the song and singing in a whisper “no this is not where I belong”. With Green now on the stage solo he dedicates the next song to “everyone that has been with me since the start of this whole City and Colour thing”. Cue ‘Day Old Hate’ and audience enthusiasm. I didn’t have much affection for the City and Colour crowd, you know that unity and bond you experience with fellow audience members during a really great live performance? That didn’t happen. It was almost selfish... like everyone thought they deserved to be there and everyone else can fuck off because there is no possible way you could love City and Colour as much. Audience team work and involvement was needed however for ‘What Makes a Man’, harmonising with each other and Green in what turned out to be a very fond moment for all. 'The Girl’ is finally played and you can hear the faint sobs of females who are yearning for a boyfriend (or Green himself) that will love them as much as the lyrics make out. In all seriousness though it is a sweet song.
The second half of the set including the encore was what I believed to be the highlight of City and Colour’s set. Green had gotten comfortable with his audience, mainly making fun of them and their obsession with Instagram (guilty). He also shared some very wise words with us all, encouraging everyone to put away our phones for a moment and focus on enjoying the moment we are in, rather than try so hard to capture the memory of it. Damn.
In what is apparently a “Canadian tradition” the band finished off with a cover of ‘Like A Hurricane’ by Neil Young which saw me starting to behave like a fangirl. Great song for those of you puzzled (and shame on you!).
WORDS JANET SNAKEHOLE- AAA BACKSTAGE