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City and Colour frontman, Dallas Green, brought his A game to the stage of the Sydney Opera House last night to serenade punters attending his Splendour In The Grass sideshow and he certainly drew in quite an interesting assemblage of guests.
The crowd was littered with several baseball caps and snapbacks, more mini skirts and high heels than I could count and as always, a delightful array of facial hair, sweaters and paisley button ups. Green, his lyrical narratives and flawless vocals, did a wonderful job entertaining his strange group of friends.
To begin the evening, Green merged old favourite Off by Heart – from his Sometimes album – into The Hurry and the Harm – from his newest album of the same name, and in the setting of the Opera House, this rendition was something to behold.
It becomes clear after a few minutes into his shows that Green has this uncanny ability of drawing fans in so deep they forget where they are. I was in this trance-like state for majority of the night so if I’ve left something out of this review, you have my sincerest apologies. It is mostly his fault.
Watch: City And Colour – Thirst
Green is one of the most punctual and responsive artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. The King of the hammer-ons was rewarded with several compliments during the night – “You look great tonight!”, “I love you, Dallas!”, “Nice hat!” – to which he always responded with a sincere “Thank you very much”.
This dialogue with the crowd is one of Green’s trademarks, along with his horn-rimmed glasses, the ever-present glass of scotch and his modesty. For an artist who has played all over the world, Green seemed awestruck at the concept of him playing a show at the Sydney Opera House, opening with the line, “Is this weird for everybody and not just me?”. It would be difficult to think of a more perfect setting to showcase his music.
After settling in, Green played crowd favourite The Grand Optimist dedicated to his dad “Big Michael” before playing a song he had never played live before – Make Believe. This song is about Green’s disillusionment with religion after having attended Catholic school and being indoctrinated since childhood. I admire his spunk for getting this song out there, singing about religion is always risky business. Next up was, in his words, “the one that got the ball rolling”, Save Your Scissors. This hit had one of the most vocally gifted audiences I have ever been acquainted with all singing along.
In What Makes a Man, Green encouraged some audience participation, gifting Ally and Louise from the front row with the duty of team leaders. It was their role to direct their team in singing the backing vocals to Green’s lead. It may have just been the acoustics of the Opera House but regardless, I’d like to send a big shout out to Ally for leading Team Left, we sounded fabulous.
Watch: City And Colour – Sorrowing Man (Unplugged At Music Feeds Studio)
His next song was a cover of Pink’s Try. This was another first for Green who questioned this decision after realising he was about to perform a song he had never performed before in a theatre regarded as one of the seven new wonders of the world. He needn’t have worried though, the performance was impeccable. The last song before his encore was The Girl, Green again utilising his audience to compensate for his lack of backing vocalists. We were magnificent.
Coming out for his encore, Green seated himself at the Steinway fixed on the Opera House stage and was shocked by the cleanliness. “Oh! I can see myself,” he exclaimed. He dedicated the song Happiness by the Kilowatt to his old group, post-hardcore band Alexisonfire.
Next up was Dallas’ favourite Two Coins which was reminiscent of a Jeff Buckley performance, his vocal control and dynamics reminiscent of the greats. Green ended his show with arguably his most well-known song, Coming Home. This provoked a standing ovation from the crowd who, like myself, were devastated that the show had to end.
If you’re heading up to Byron this weekend, make sure you catch his set because it is definitely one not to be missed! Also, if you have room in your car, please smuggle him back to my house so I can make him a permanent fixture on my bedside table.
City And Colour’s latest album, ‘The Hurry And The Harm’, is available now. City And Colour will be performing at Splendour In The Grass this weekend – follow all the news here.
Watch: City and Colour – The Lonely Life
City and Colour Sydney Opera House Set List
Off by Heart
The Hurry and the Harm
Bring Me Your Love
The Grand Optimist
Death of Me
Body In a Box
The Lonely Life”what if I did not love you where would that leave me” – I pose the same question to Dallas green
Save Your Scissors
What Makes a Man
Try (Cover of Pink)
Happiness by the Kilowatt (Alexisonfire)