CITY & COLOUR AT THE RUMSEY PLAYFIELD
Often matching the mood of their music, it is usually difficult for Americana and acoustic artists to bring energy to a live show that embodies the mellow vibes of their melodies. The Black Keys famously struggled with this problem when performing for many of their slower tracks on “Brothers”. Other artists, such as the Civil Wars, have been quoted as “dead” or “unengaged” while performing live for their fans.
Not so for Dallas Green and company. Hailing from Canada, the former front man of Alexisonfire and his band form the group known as City and Colour and played for a packed house at the Rumsey Playfield this past Friday. Following two buoyant sets by openers Lucy and Liselle, Green took the stage at a rather punctual 8:30 sharp. Although many of his tunes are folk-ish in tonality, Green brought along an electrified energy that matched the brisk air filling the Central Park venue.
Opening his set with two upbeat tracks off of his new album—‘Of Space and Time’ and ‘The Lonely Life’ off of The Hurry and the Harm—Green proceeded to dedicate the acoustic track ‘The Grand Optimist’ to his parents. The night followed this sort of stop and go rhythm, fluctuating between old and new material in a smooth melodic journey of Green’s evolution. A sultry jazz drop accompanied the croon of “As Much As I Ever Could.” Before playing the song ‘Paradise’, Green mentioned how he was feeling “completely opposite” from the track, which explores dissatisfaction. His mood certainly reflected it, as he quipped jokes and wittedly responded to fans, quick to make humor of himself, and always the charmer in the humblest of ways. He even asked if anyone had brought “their dancing shoes” before cranking out the jumpy Thirst and Fragile Bird. Green’s nervous energy exudes a tangible element that allows the fan to seemingly be right along stage with him.
Yet perhaps the most remarkable of feats Green brings to the limelight is the fact that, vocally, he sounds exactly the same live as he is in the studio. This was most apparent in his wailing of Sorrowing Man and fan favorite Sleeping Sickness, as he hit impeccable highs in the former and abrasive choruses in the latter. Even when accompanying the audience during “The Girl”, the authenticity of the studio version was still apparent.
Closing out the encore with a beautiful rendition of “Sometimes”, Green mentioned that he was being cut short by Central Park’s strict curfew. Even with the time constraint, however, on Friday night Dallas Green was in no hurry, and he certainly did no harm.
Of Space and Time
The Lonely Life
As Much As I Ever Could
Day Old Hate
We Found Each Other In The Dark
Harder Than Stone