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City and Colour – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA – May 28, 2017 (A Concert

Updated: Mar 19, 2020


City and Colour – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA – May 28, 2017 – photo by Jazzman Underwood © 2017

City and Colour – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA – May 28, 2017

Fans spanning the tri-state area welcomed City and Color with a sold-out venue for their USA Tour 2017. The Electric Factory, placing tasteful emphasis on Philadelphia’s industrial past, provided Dallas Green with everything he needed for an intimate night of rock & roll.

“Woman,” the bold first song off the most recent album, If I Should Go Before You, promptly opened the show with nine minutes of slow instrumental buildup and falsettos that attendees know and love. A consistent pace was established well and quickly: something Green has gained a knack for over the years. Once finished with a song, he’d move onto the next, and then the next, and the next… not without taste, but with charm and warmth to his presence. When Green did address the crowd, a release of pent up energy would sweep everyone into a frenzy.

City and Colour’s USA Tour 2017, following the tour and release of their most rewarding collection of songs yet, If I Should Go Before You, was dedicated to those who have witnessed Green’s artistic growth. City and Colour began as an outlet for Green’s more personal and sensitive material while he was a member of hardcore rock band Alexisonfire. The once side-project turned into a full-time gig for the artist back in 2011.

Although no new songs were played that night, ballads spanning Canadian singer & songwriter guitarist Dallas Green’s career swooned audience members of all ages. Notably more voices sang along to the first six songs off If I Should Go Before You than their last show in Philly, half a year back. The time in between has allowed fans to familiarize themselves with the slightly different sound their latest album provided.

The sixth song on the setlist was a tribute to the project’s roots, “Hello, I’m In Delaware” to highlight an evolution from acoustic solo project to bold indie-rock band.

In my last review of City and Colour, when they played Philly’s Tower Theatre in 2016, it was noted I Should Go Before You embodied more full-band interaction than Dallas Green had ever incorporated in his solo project. That tour gave people the chance to see a new City and Colour; one that was more methodic in its electric blues.

Now, on tour again with a slightly re-arranged setlist, Green seemed far more comfortable as he explores full-band sounds and grander gestures.   USA Tour 2017 used the band’s solidification as the basis for touring under no new releases. It felt as if the band said “we’ve grown into ourselves and we’re here to show you,” with every riff and solo.

Continuing on, “Lover Come Back” dabbled in psychedelic and progressive rock influences. Green described “We Found Each Other In the Dark” as a song about everyone being nice to one another. Lengthy, flawlessly guitar solos by Green and guitarist Dante Schwebel were flaunted in many songs, including “As Much as I Ever Could,” a soulful piece serving as the last song before encore.

Endless cooing by the crowd hailed Green back onto stage, blackened except for a single spotlight aimed at the artist and his acoustic guitar- again, an appreciation for the band’s roots.  Not a word other than his singing could be heard, and his musical artistry shined.

Captivating vocals paired complemented intricate guitar strums as two more solo acoustic songs flowed. Less than halfway through the fourth encore song “Girl,” concert goers erupted again in cheers as the band rejoined Green on stage to finish the song with him. As a finale, the band played “Hope for Now,” the evocative last track from the album Little Hell.

After the show, groups of smiley attendees flocked in and around the venue. Murmurs of the powerful performance could be heard left and right. I decided to speak to a few people in hopes of gaining a better idea of where and why people were there. Sean, 26, was seeing City and Colour for his fourth time with girlfriend and two friends who had also seen the band multiple times. Two sisters, 15 and 24, drove two hours to see Green play. A couple, 31 and 40, were on a date and said they’d been listening to City and Colour for years.

In a short matter of time, I had approached and spoken to completely different groups of people, all there for the same reason. If anything is as equally impressive as City and Color’s craftsmanship, it’s their fanbase. Luckily for the band and anyone in attendance to a performance, music lovers are happy to unite under Dallas Green… and they keep coming back for more.

Shana Bergmann

Copyright ©2017 All rights reserved. Posted: June 1, 2017.

photos by Jazzman Underwood © 2017

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