Words: Lindsay Bradley
It was a miserable Saturday evening in Leeds, the wind and the rain made it a difficult walk up to the O2 Leeds Academy. As I walked inside at 8:30, City and Colour were just coming onto the stage. The early set time was due to some club night on after. Fair enough.
The band opened their set with the wistful ambience track ‘Of Space and Time’ taken off their new album The Hurry and the Harm. This album, in my opinion, is Dallas Green’s best work yet. The opening track reaffirmed this belief and from that moment onward, the audience had forgotten their worries and the weather outside.
When ‘Body in a Box’ from Bring Me Your Love began, the crowd cheered. When you read the lyrics it is not the cheeriest of songs (We celebrate the lives of the dead / It's like a man's best party, only happens when he dies.), but the Leeds crowd sang along at the top of their lungs. Everyone was so joyful and excited to be at the show. The atmosphere in the venue united the crowd, nothing could bring them down - it was just a shame a pint of Tuborg cost a painful £4.50.
Old favourites such as ‘Sleeping Sickness’ flawlessly fitted in with the likes of stripped down ‘The Grand Optimist’. The mixture of full band and solo acoustic fitted well, as he played the relatively upbeat ‘Fragile Bird’ with its reverberating guitar, taken from 2011’s Little Hell.
There was some banter during fan favourite ‘Comin’ Home’. As Dallas sang, ‘I’ve seen a palace in London / I’ve seen a castle in Wales’, the crowd jokingly booed and in typical Yorkshire style, and chants of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ erupted. Dallas stopped mid-song and joked ‘This ain’t a fuckin’ soccer game, chill out!’ Everyone laughed and he continued the song with a new zest of enthusiasm, feeding off the crowd’s energy.
Indeed, City and Colour are not an upbeat cheery outfit but they have a similar effect of Chris Carrabba’s Dashboard Confessional. Dallas Green’s ability to bring a crowd together to make them feel not so alone is no easy feat. He achieves this with ease and the audience becomes his to play, their energy drives him through the set.
However, the show could not last forever. They closed the set with the haunting ‘Death’s Song’, the echoing ‘woah’s’ are still firmly stuck in my head two days later. People were not ready to go home but the eighteen song set was soon over. As we all headed outside, we were hit with the cold bitter wind of reality.
Oxford Road Rating: ★★★★★