Five years ago Dallas Green, who performs under the moniker City & Colour, said he felt ‘uncomfortable’ releasing his acoustic folk material under his actual name. So Green, the guitarist of the genre popular hardcore band Alexisonfire, chose the name “City & Colour” for his side project, City referencing his first name Dallas, and Colour to his last name Green. Clever.
But after walking off the stage in front of a sold out room of roars and applause at The Fillmore this week it is hard to believe Green is anything but comfortable.
City & Colour has become a hard ticket to come by with sell out success attributed to Green’s commanding stage excellence in a live setting. Throughout the long set list Green performs half the concert acoustic by himself and the other half with a live band creating an intimacy at certain points with the audience while at other times showing his ability to rock producing unison claps and foot stomps from the crowd.
The first half of the band’s set seems to serve as a confession that City & Colour is still finding its’ identity amongst varying sub genres of indie and folk. The band was praised for their second and most recent album 2008’s “Bring Me Your Love” because of its’ mature musical progression towards folk.
As Green strummed through the opener “Coming Home” a slow and dark song about the hardships of his constant traveling Green cemented the sincerity of the night while exposing his toned yet raw live vocal quality. The cold and rain-soaked crowd swooned to Green as he played songs from his 2005 strictly acoustic guitar – piano debut album “Sometimes” which won him a JUNO award for “Alternative Album of the Year” in 2007.
Throughout the night Green and the band consistently engaged with the audience in comical stories from the road including a problem in customs that had his guitarist and bassist detained and held for nearly an hour while crossing the U.S border from they’re homeland Canada.
In the next song “The Girl” a fan favorite off of “Bring Me Your Love” Green screwed up the order of verses citing “fucking customs honestly” later admitting that he could not remove the story from his thoughts the entire song.The crowds laughed and it was one of the band’s best of the night.
Some other songs played throughout the night included older fan favorites such as “Sam Malone” and “Sometimes( I Wish)” while playing newer more popular hits such as “Sleeping Sickness” and “Waiting.”
But it was the encore where Green showed his true musicianship.
Coming out alone for an encore Green gave a brief sincere thank you to the audience for their continued support before starting a gritty and soulful clap and and stomp acapella cover of blues legend Son House’s “Grinnin’ in Your Face.”
As some filed down the stairs, a large crowd stayed hoping that despite the lights being turned on their cheers would bring City & Colour on for one more song.
As the crowd began to pour onto the raining San Francisco streets just before 12:30 it was obvious that impressions were made, fans were pleased, and newcomers were intrigued, a show worth remembering and seeing again, or for the first time.