With or without a guitar, there are very few voices in the [music] industry that continuously has me feeling that type of feeling that leaves you with goosebumps. Dallas Green aka City and Colour is indeed one of those artists.
Kicking this week off, the one man show that is Dallas Green/City and Colour played a secret acoustic performance in Sydney at the Oxford Art Factory. Tickets could not be bought, and it was merely by chance that if you pre-ordered his new record, “If I Should Go Before You”, you could be in with a chance to be in the audience for this very special and all-exclusive live performance. [For the record, he also played a show in Melbourne.]
Lucky for us, we scored a spot to attend the Sydney show!! 🙂
Curated by triple j’s Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall, the night consisted of a Q+A with the talented Canadian musician (including questions submitted before the show by audience members) and a competition to win a bunch of prizes including a brand new guitar.
I admit, I did submit a question to Green to answer; but I have to confess that I’m kind of glad that they didn’t choose my question. Why? My introverted ways would not have wanted the spotlight to be on me – at any point in the night – even if it was just for a few seconds.
Anyhow, Green talked about his new record, getting into the studio with his band that he has recently started touring with; creating a full sound that he has always longed for, as well as his influences and working with Alecia Moore aka Pink. Yep, he did a record with her. Google it if you’re not familiar with the record.
Green was entertaining, funny, witty and honest with his answers. And there was something that he said about his songwriting process that really struck with me that I wanted to share with you: “Don’t be afraid to write the wrong thing. It could end up being right.”
He learnt this about himself after working with Moore. She would hear music and write lyrics effortlessly, whereas he would always keep his words and ideas hidden inside until he was confident enough to write them down and show someone else. That is something that I could totally relate to, and will definitely learn to use his advice in my own [writing] experiences.
On to the performance! City and Colour performed solo that night with only his acoustic guitar. Having been a fan for so many years, I should be used to seeing and hearing him perform live. But every time I get to see him perform, there’s something about his performance that gives me goosebumps and more often than not, has me feeling all the #feels. Know what I mean?
Showcasing his beautiful vocal range, Green opened up with the title track of his new record, before moving on to what appeared to be a crowd favourite from the new album already, ‘Lover Come Back’, and jumping into an ‘oldie’ of ‘Death of Me’ What appeared to be a very short set, Green then asked a question that he immediately regretted:
“I’ve never asked this before, but what do YOU want to hear?”
Surely, he should have known that he wouldn’t get a unanimous answer from the audience for asking that question haha. However, he decided to settle it with singing a single from each of his records. Seeing that ‘Death of Me’ was from his second record, “Bring Me Your Love”, and he had already covered a couple of songs from the new record; there was still room to determine which songs we wanted to hear from “Sometimes”, “The Hurry and The Harm” and “Little Hell”; which also meant that there was only three songs left to perform. Eep.
Whilst I was saddened by that realisation, the audience was buzzing with chatter and curiosity as to which songs would be chosen.
Starting backwards from the release dates of the records, Green chose to perform ‘Two Coins’ from “The Hurry and The Harm”, simply because it was his favourite.
Then, the hard part – ‘Do you want to hear ‘The Grand Optimist’ or ‘Northern Wind’?
With both answers receiving the same amount of cheering, excitement and applause, Green responded with an answer that I wasn’t completely happy about: ‘Okay, I’ll do both; but after that – that’s it.’
So why wasn’t I happy? “Sometimes” is most definitely my favourite City and Colour record of all five albums, and to not hear him perform a single from that particular record was heartbreaking.
Nonetheless, the secret Sydney gig of City and Colour was entertaining and emotional, but most of all, it was intimate. I’m so thankful that I was able to be in the audience for it.
Listen to his full performance of ‘The Grand Optimist’ above; and maybe, just maybe, you’ll [start to] understand why I love his voice so much. <3
City and Colour (Live and Acoustic)
Monday 19 October 2015
Oxford Art Factory