Dashboard Confessional @ Corona Theatre – 9th March 2018

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Dashboard Confessional Montreal Corona

In the early to mid-2000s, Dashboard Confessional could have sold out a venue like Théatre Corona many times over. In 2018, Emo is definitely not as popular as it was, but there’s still a pretty sizeable crowd assembled tonight, albeit an older one than times past!

The raucous singalong that accompanies Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World over the PA is further proof that this crowd is ready for some Dashboard Confessional tonight. As the last beat rings out, the stage darkens and frontman Chris Carrabba arrives on stage alone. As he starts out with a solo rendition of The Best Deceptions, it’s clear that the 12 years since their last visit has done nothing to dampen the zeal of the singing at their shows; it’s absolutely deafening and follows that pattern for the rest of the show, song after song. After extending the outro with extra choruses, allowing the crowd to sing exclusively, the rest of the bands joins Chris on stage.

After the Jimmy Eat World-esque Catch You, Chris comments on the 12-year gap since their last visit, and remarks “you haven’t aged, you’re still beautiful! Is there a song you wanna hear?” After one guy shouts for Hands Down, Chris jokingly clarifies “OK, any other song besides the obvious one we play at the end??” A furious shouting match ensues for a few seconds before guitarist Armon Jay comments “I heard someone shout for Saints And Sailors!” Not to spoil it, but that was next on the setlist anyway; I guess they were waiting for the right song to be shouted at them! Still, it sounds great, and the crowd loves it, impromptu or not.

The audience interactions between Chris and crowd are frequent and don’t all work out well. After the mellow Remember To Breathe, Chris asks “has anyone even been different to everyone else around them?” The response is muted at best, to which Chris remarks unperturbed, “OK then, this song is just for me!” The great new song We Fight follows and really does sound as good anything they’ve ever done.

The band departs again, leaving Chris to run through solo acoustic versions of The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, Ghost Of A Good Thing, Carry This Picture, and Heart Beat Here, all of which are greeted with the gusto you have come to expect by this point of the show.

The full band returns to the stage again for the final four songs of the main set, which include the classic Screaming Infidelities and Vindicated, cranking up the volume of the crowd even more, as if that was even possible! As the whole band leaves the stage together, I definitely see one girl in her 30s crying in the crowd…

After the traditional “olé olé” beckons the band back on stage, the epic Hands Down gets the crowd going one last time, still sounding as fresh as it did in 2003. After the rest of the band leaves the stage, Chris elects to reprise the song alone for a little while longer, exchanging turns with the crowd in singing the “I knew / that you meant it!” line to spine-tingling effect, before finally bringing the curtain down on a triumphant show after almost 2 hours. By the time Chris leaves the stage for the last time, I see two more women crying. After 12 years, Dashboard Confessional clearly haven’t lost their touch.

Set List

The Best Deceptions
Don’t Wait
The Sharp Hint Of New Tears
The Good Fight
Catch You
Saints And Sailors
Remember To Breathe
We Fight
The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
Ghost Of A Good Thing
Carry This Picture
Heart Beat Here
Screaming Infidelities
Again I Go Unnoticed

Hands Down

Review and photos – Simon Williams

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