City and Colour – Tower Theater – Upper Darby, PA – December 8, 2015
From the moment City and Colour stepped on stage at Philadelphia’s Tower Theatre for their If I Should Go Before You World Tour, it was very clear it were to be an exciting night for die-hard fans. The Canadian-bred lead vocalist Dallas Green opened with “Woman,” the first song off their latest album. At nine minutes long, his haunting falsettos immediately transfixed the audience. Once finished, it segued directly into the second song (“Northern Blues”), and the next (“Two Coins”), without Green speaking a mere word. The crowd sang along, strayed away from calling out, and the mood was set for an intense night.
With the release of Green’s (he is the only fulltime member of City and Colour) first album Sometimes in late 2005, also came an announcement declaring the “best music for [him] was sad music.” The almost completely acoustic album laid the foundation for what would be an act delivering sweet soothing to the ears of those who were hurting, and needed escape.
Ten years later, City and Colour delivered his most ambitious collection of songs yet with If I Should Go Before You. The album does a beautiful job of showcasing how Green has not only delved into new realms of his sound, but has found a family in his backing band members as well. The album consists of more full-band interaction than ever before, a long way since his solo-acoustic days. Not to say that it doesn’t sound like the old City and Colour fans have come to love, but it’s evident as a whole the group has solidified. Because of this, listeners are met with a revamped, strikingly soulful and bold new sound. It’s hard to recall a band in recent times who has pulled a 180 so successfully. City and Colour was awash with inspiration and absorbed it flawlessly.
With that said, this concert may have been the best I’ve ever been to. As someone who has been listening to C&C for over eight years, I went into the venue with high expectations. Would Green live up to the pedestal I had put him on? The answer, put simply, was: yes, yes, and yes. Never before had I seen a set list so artfully and thoughtfully constructed. It was the perfect mix of new, old, and really old, which was just what the crowd needed. It was pretty obvious there weren’t many new fans in the house. Even so, the from-2008-and-earlier tunes were received just as loudly as his newest hits, and that speaks volumes.
The beginning of the show was geared more towards their newest album, flawlessly executing, “Woman,” “Northern Blues,” “Two Coins,” “If I Should Go Before You,” and “Killing Time,” respectively. All five songs are right off If I Should Go Before You. It was almost as if they were getting it out of the way, and it was nearly all throwbacks from there, playing “We Found Each Other in the Dark,” “As Much As I Ever Could,” and “Northern Wind” as a part of his five-song solo encore. The old love songs were an ode to the audience consisting of 95% couples. Needless to say, even as I was there alone, we all swayed along as one. Dallas Green and his band could not have performed better.
Copyright ©2015 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 17, 2015.
Photos by Shana Bergmann © 2015