Halifax needed City and Colour, and City and Colour needed Halifax just as much this past Friday night.
The nearly sold out Halifax show marked the final stop of a cross Canada run in support of the new record “ A Pill for Loneliness”. Special guests on the tour included Still Records label mate Ben Rogers and international R&B artist Jacob Banks.
The evening began promptly at 7pm with Ben Rogers taking the stage for a short set, with a focus on his Still Records debut Wildfire, including singles such as “Rattle Your Chains” and “Steady Going Nowhere”. Throughout the set, Rogers amplified his admiration for Dallas Green, thanking him several times for helping to launch and create the label debut that was “Wildfire” earlier this year.
Right on time at around 7:50, Jacob Banks, a UK based R&B artist of Nigerian descend took the stage introducing Halifax fans to his unique blend of soul and hip hop, further helping to energize the crowd, including original songs such as “Chainsmoking” and “Slow Up” he also performed snippets of songs, including a Coldplay snippet of “Fix You” which got many members of the crowd getting their vocals warmed up.
City and Colour, or Dallas Green as many of us like to continue calling him has come a long way since his 2005 solo debut “Sometimes” nearly 15 years ago and this nearly two hour set of mixed electric and acoustic tunes just proved that. The headlining set began with two tracks off the latest record “Astronaut” and “Strangers”, before the loud intro of “Fragile Bird” got the Scotiabank Centre crowd moving.
The set continued with various hits from Dallas’ last few albums such as “Little Hell, “Sensible Heart”, “ “Waiting”, “”Northern Wind” and many more. A beautiful rendition of the nighttime driving song “Hello, I’m in Delaware” was a huge highlight of the set, and would end up being the only song performed from the “Sometimes” record during the entire night.
Fans don’t always love the encore because it can only mean we are nearing the end of a show, but City and Colour takes an encore and makes it the loudest interaction of the night, with fans singing every word to “Body in a Box”, “We Found Eachother in the Dark”, and of course “The Girl”.
But the set wasn’t over, the one more song to close the beautiful evening was of course “Sleeping Sickness”, and Dallas asked anyone who knew the words to help him sing the song, who’s studio version featured lyrics from late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.
The evening marked three years to the day of Gord Downie’s final full show ever, which took place in Halifax, and left a city feeling alone. The best way to cure that loneliness for Halifax fans was to have a great friend and collaborator of Gord’s perform, and Dallas Green did just that, easing his own loneliness as well.
City and Colour have proven that you can create so many sounds over 15 years, whether it be soft acoustic gems, or loud, catchy electric guitar tunes. Dallas Green has an incredible catalogue of songs, so many that it takes an effort to create a set list, but any set list will excite his biggest fans. Even if you didn’t hear every song you wanted, that’s okay, because “you know he’ll just be right back.”
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