City and Colour – Gig Review 13th Feb @ The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD

City and Colour
The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
February 13, 2023
Support: Dooms Children

In 2010 I moved to London – It was all I had wanted to do for a long time. I’m a pop-punk cliche in that I don’t like the small town I was born in – I wanted to get out and felt I was destined for bigger things. I hadn’t stopped to think about the fact I was over 15 thousand kilometres away and wouldn’t see my friends, mum and sister for over a year. Just before I left, I had a going away party, and in the early hours of the following day, a group of my closest people were quietly hanging out in my lounge room. For some reason, we decided City and Colour’s Sometimes was the appropriate thing to listen to. As ‘Hello, I’m in Delaware’ played, the gravity of what I was doing finally hit me. When the song finished, someone joked about the sombre mood, and it only deepened. For the first six months of my life in London, I couldn’t listen to that song – I was homesick and frustrated at being so because I’d wanted to leave for so long. I went to Scotland in the second half of that year and was finally able to listen to it as I drove into a picturesque Scottish village in the van I lived in for that week. It didn’t make me super sad – I still missed my people, but I had finally made a life for myself and was where I was supposed to be. I was content, comfortable and seeing incredible parts of the world.   

This review already contains too much personal information, but here is some more; Alexisonfire has been one of my favourite bands since one of my close friends made me a mix CD of her “heavy music” when I was in uni in 2005. Like most Alexis fans, when I found out Dallas Green had an acoustic side project – City and Colour – I became obsessed with the sad boi juxtaposition of these sad, slow songs and the frantic heaviness of Alexis. I first saw c&c at Soundwave 2008 – I have another story about Dallas playing a small gig at The Troubadour, now Black Bear, in like 2007 and not knowing who he was or paying attention but this is already way too long of an intro, so let’s get into it.   

Back in the day (man, this review has made me feel super old already), whenever Alexis toured Aus – Dallas would do shows as City and Colour; this circumstance is no different. Sadly the pandemic cancelled the last c&c tour, but it worked out well because it meant getting to see both c&c and Alexis in one week, just like it used to be. The other great part of this is that Wade MacNeil, also from Alexis also has a side project that came out of the Panny-d, and he took the opportunity to tour it as support for City and Colour. I got to interview Wade just before Dooms Children released their debut album in 2021, and I was super keen to see the outfit live and I was not disappointed (not that I thought I would be). The combination of Wade’s heartfelt songs about his journey to recovery and life during the pandemic, with his soulful, husky voice and the wild, psychedelic guitars, was a perfect way to begin the evening. Wade was charming, fun and entertaining and started the show with “What the fuck is up c*nts”. If you haven’t yet gotten into Dooms – check it out. The set was like a jam sesh – not in an obnoxious Phish way, just in a fun, long, rad guitar breaks way.  

Dallas then took to the stage with a full band – the same brilliant one that played with Wade – and went straight into one of his newest songs – ‘Meant to Be’, which started the set incredibly. The set was filled with a mix of newer songs, a brand new song and old favourites- all of which the crowd sang along to diligently. I’ve seen City and Colour as just Dallas and a guitar, Dallas, a guitar and his brother playing keyboard and with a full band and all have been fantastic. I like the country feel he has given the songs of late and looking at him and the rest of the band I thought that while I have never been lucky enough to visit Nashville – they would fit in well on one of its many stages.   

The entire set was fantastic, but super notable moments for me were during ‘We Found Each Other in the Dark’, ‘Fragile Bird’, ‘Sorrowing Man’ and the entire encore, which I will talk about in a minute. The set’s absolute pinnacle for me was when I heard the first words of ‘Hello, I’m in Delaware’ and started to cry. I’ve seen c&c about five times, including while living in London, and I am pretty sure that’s only the second time this song I’ve heard this song live. The band has countried it up, and the beautiful guitar lick is hidden a little in the other instruments these days, but the song is still wonderful and hits right in the feels.   

City and Colour’s catalogue is extensive these days. Still, Dallas did an incredible job of mixing the favourites from each album into the set, along with new releases. He joked that the reaction to introducing a new song was always very different to an old fave but that he also doesn’t give a fuck if we want to hear new songs or not. The encore started with ‘Comin’ Home’, which Dallas said was once about how homesick he was while touring but now feels is about coming to Australia because it feels homely. The end of ‘Comin’ Home’ went into an acoustic version of Alexis’ ‘This Could Be Anywhere in the World’, which was fun and had everyone singing loudly. The rest of the encore was ‘Lover Come Back’, ‘Sleeping Sickness’ and, of course- ‘The Girl’, the omission of which would surely cause a riot. I also have to mention just how good the sound was and how great Dallas himself sounded. His voice has always given me chills.    

While City and Colour is an act that has been around for over twenty years (my oldness was solidified when Dallas pointed that out), they are an act that is still making new music and finding new ways to play old favourites without losing the essence of those older songs. Nostalgic feelings will always float through the set because so many of us have so many memories with this band, but they are not a nostalgia act. The songs and performance are fresh, and thankfully there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the band.  

Review by Cait Macca @cait_2tone

Photo by Jackson Darmody @jacko__

Set List

Meant to B
Living in Lightning
Thirst
Strangers
Two Coins
We Found Each Other in the Dark
Weightless
Waiting
Hello, I’m in Delaware
Underground
Fragile Bird
Sorrowing Man

Encore

Comin’ Home (with “This Could Be Anywhere in the World”)
The Girl
Lover Come Back

l

Play VideoPlay 

Play VideoSleeping Sickness

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About Cait Mac (52 Articles)
Alternative gal who loves music and gets to write things about it for Wall of Sound