City and Colour has come a long way from being a side project of Dallas Green, lead guitarist of the late and great post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. Green has been exponentially gaining a larger fan base from all different kinds of music cultures since his acclaimed debut release Sometimes in 2005 and his latest release, Little Hell, has expectedly turned heads and secured him one of the headlining spots at 2012’s Groovin’ the Moo festival.

With fans bursting with anticipation from outside of Adelaide’s Thebarton Theatre, it was hard not to share their excitement.

The night started out with solo blues guitarist Alfie Jurvanen, better known as Bahamas. It seemed like the majority of the crowd knew nothing of Jurvanen and preferred to converse rather than listen to the touching lyrics he was singing. As a result of this, he initiated a story to the crowd, explaining that “I have been involved with music for a long time. I sit on the edge of my bed, writing songs for hours. Then I travel across the world to perform them for people like you, so it has always gotten me down whenever the crowd constantly talk during my shows.”

This was met with a passionate cheer from the portion that wholeheartedly agreed with him. Jurvanen continued, saying “but, now I’ve realised -or at least told myself- that ‘hey, they’re always talking about me! They’re talking about how great I’m doing!’ and so I now encourage you to talk to your friends, to tweet, or to post statuses at my shows.” This attempt at getting the audience to focus without sacrificing the relaxed mood of the venue was surprisingly very successful, as there was seldom a peep from the crowd therafter.

City and Colour, along with a backing band of four (which included Bahamas himself on lead guitar) entered on stage just half an hour after Jurvanen’s very short twenty minute set, arriving to a roar of cheers. Without hesitation, the five musicians started playing “We Found Each Other in the Dark,”  the opening track off of Little Hell. If anyone were to listen to any City and Colour song for the first time, they would immediately notice that Dallas Green has a voice that is so soothing it could calm down the most excited of people. Funnily enough, that’s just about what it did. As soon as Green started singing the first few lines, the tranquil crowd sang along, entranced.

Not only was Green’s voice completely flawless, so too were his choices in the night’s setlist. The songs performed were evenly distributed between his three LPs and the band both disappeared and reappeared several times throughout the show, consistently offering a change of pace.

Among these songs were classics such as “Sleeping Sickness”, “Comin’ Home” and “The Girl”. One of the major highlights was a very intimate version of “Body in a Box” where, prior to playing it, Green called upon all those who had been filming the show with their smartphones. Announcing “anyone who is filming this with their iPhone or anything else, please hold it up. Okay, good. Now, put it in your pocket. Sometimes we want to remember something so bad that we forget to experience it, so please, experience this with me.” The crowd complied and sung along passionately.

Despite being nearly twenty songs long, there was never a dull moment and the show kept its brilliance throughout. Closing with “Hope for Now”, City and Colour’s ending wasn’t without the utmost amount of loving crowd participation. Leaving such an emotion filled concert was hard for many, but there is no hesitation saying that the vast majority of attendees went home feeling satisfied and appreciative of the beautiful acoustic music that Dallas Green had written for them.

– Tom Gaffney

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