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Concert Review: City and Colour at Rapids Theatre

City and Colour visited WNY on Wednesday.

blog by Deandra Modica  • 

The Band: Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green stopped by the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls)  in Niagara Falls on Wednesday night as part of his six-week tour of the United States. Green, formerly a member of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, began producing music under the moniker City and Colour in 2005 with the release of his first studio album Sometimes.

Over the past few years, Green’s distinct voice and evocative song lyrics have attracted new fans in Canada, the US, and across Europe. City and Colour’s 2008 album Bring Me Your Love reached #5 on Billboard’s Alternative New Artist chart and Green’s most recent album, Little Hell, sold over 20,000 copies in its first week out last June.

Green is currently touring with friends who have collaborated with him on Little Hell and past projects including Daniel Romano (guitar), Spencer Burton (guitar), Scott Remila (bass and vocals), Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel guitar, organ), and Dylan Green (drums).

The Venue: The Rapids Theatre boasts a variety of shows year-round and has hosted big-name acts such as Snoop Dogg, 30 Seconds to Mars, and The Deftones in 2011. Originally opened as a movie theater and vaudeville stage in 1921, the converted venue had various management changes before reopening in 2009. The grand balcony gives this venue a touch of class and an adorned dome ceiling helps keep it cool.

The Crowd: Over 1,000 people packed the venue and at least half of the sold-out crowd was made up of our friendly neighbors from the north. Green, who repeatedly expressed his gratitude for his American fans, couldn’t resist giving his fellow Canadians a few shout-outs as well. Not surprisingly, the crowd was calm throughout most of the concert and appeared to be spellbound by Green’s banter and vocals.

The Performance: Green, accompanied by his five piece back-up band, opened the show with the fan favorite “Sleeping Sickness” off of Bring Me Your Love, and the eloquent first track on Little Hell, “We Found Each Other in the Dark.” Amid guitar swaps and harmonica solos, Green swiftly transitioned into intense solo performances of “Grand Optimist,” “As Much as I Ever Could,” and “Day Old Hate.” He dedicated the latter to female fans who have supported him since the beginning of his City and Colour project. 

Asking the crowd to tuck away cell phones and cameras for the next song, Green belted out “Body in a Box” and cracked jokes as he directed a sing-a-long version of “What Makes a Man?” The band returned to the stage for “Little Hell” and “The Death of Me” after Green’s swoon-worthy rendition of “The Girl.” Turning up the heat with “Fragile Bird,” Green invited the crowd to dance along and thanked them for providing him with a job he loves.

Although the show lasted almost two hours, concluding with the hits “Comin’ Home” and “Sometimes (I Wish)” left the thousand-plus City and Colour fanatics in attendance wanting even more. Avoiding theatrical props or silliness gave Green’s raw voice and emotionally honest songs the attention they deserve.

The Verdict: The show was exactly what I expected: outstanding. Blending hits from Bring Me Your Love, Sometimes, and the more folk and soul-inspired Little Hell kept new and old fans happy. Green proves time and time again that City and Colour will be around for the long haul.

TAGGED: indie rock, niagara falls, rapids theatre

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