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Dallas Green, better known by his stage name, City and Colour, serenaded a sold-out audience at the Standard last night. Green played a solo acoustic set for his Aussie fans and as a folk rock, acoustic and post hardcore artist, the crowd he attracted united to form a very strange looking bunch of people. Within the crowd were those donning Alexisonfire tees (Green’s old punk band), men in business shirts, a collection of piercings and beanies, and an astounding number of the audience sporting Green’s trademark horn-rimmed glasses.
To start the night, triple j Unearthed artist Boy Outside came out to entertain with his smokey, alt-country tunes. His track River Runs to the Sea was reminiscent of a cross between Johnny Cash and Tom Petty, or a well-manicured beard – spruce, rugged and voluptuous. Boy Outside’s music seems to be a lot older than the man himself. The fetching troubadour played a short set and offered his single to gig-goers in exchange for their names and email addresses – suffice to say, I handed over my name and email address.
At 8:30, Dallas Green came out to begin his set. For an artist about to play a sold-out gig, he was surprisingly punctual. The night started with Casey’s Song. It’s worth mentioning that this was the first time I’d ever seen Green live, and as a big fan of his music and his MySpace Transmissions in particular, I was always a bit afraid that those sessions belonged in cyberspace, rather than on stage. I didn’t realise something so terribly wonderful could survive the transition from the internet to a live setting. I found out very quickly though that my fears were unfounded; Dallas Green met my expectations within the first couple of minutes of his set.
As well as his music, the man himself was quite charming. Green exuded this kind of nervous energy that made you want to stroke his hair and tell him how wonderful he was. He also possesses this endearing, self-deprecating, sense of humour – quick off the mark to make fun of himself before anyone else got the chance.
Towards the end of his set, Dallas Green encouraged some audience participation, noting that we’d have to imagine some hectic guitar solos and harmonies as his band wasn’t there to accompany him. “It’s a team effort.” he said. One kind gentleman from the audience offered to sing the guitar riffs and Green graciously accepted. Green played City And Colour favourites Day Old Hate, Fragile Bird, The Grand Optimist and Body in a Box. The latter was social media free after Green requested the crowd put away their phones and just listen to the music. The “no phones” song is an idiosyncrasy Green has employed in his shows to encourage fans to be there in the moment, to embrace their surroundings and his sweet, sweet music.
To end the night, Green played crowd favourite Comin’ Home. During this song, the couples in the area clung to each other – or rather the boys clung to to their women, restraining their swooning girlfriends from molesting the man onstage.
During the night, Dallas pledged, “If you promise me you’ll always be here, I’ll always come back.” Well, Dallas, I promise to love and cherish you, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long as we both shall live.