City and Colour and support act Lucy Rose had two nights to play at South East London’s legendary Troxy, and what a special two nights they were. The current tour is in support of City and Colour’s new album If I Should Go Before You which came out last October full of a mixture of bluesy and heavy sounds, propelling them right back into people’s minds. The demographic of tonight’s crowd is one unlike anything we’ve seen in a while; from young couples and groups of friends to parents, and perhaps even grandparents, it’s clear that music really does bring people together!
City and Colour are a tough act to open for, but from the moment that Lucy Rose – a London based singer songwriter – stepped onto the stage silence descended upon the crowd and it was a sight that no one could take their eyes off. Beginning with just her guitar, she blasts through her first track ‘Into The Wild’ capturing the attention of the ever growing crowd. Shortly after Lucy is joined on stage by her band, a collection of musicians who aren’t there to take over or attract too much attention, but rather add another dimension to Lucy’s music. With her relaxed demeanor and soft yet strong voice she is instantly accesible and it comes as no surprise that she was chosen for the support slot. Her music echoes that of Dallas Green with an honest and approachable feel. It takes a lot of skill for an act that the large majority of the crowd hadn’t heard of to capture the attentions and hearts of those watching her.
City and Colour’s set is perhaps a little more upbeat than Lucy’s as the crowd know enough of the tracks to sing along, but sadly being a Friday night a few audience members have downed a few pints too many and don’t quite give Dallas and co the respect and attention that they deserve. With incense burning along the stage, there’s a definite feel of those Chinese medical shops you pass, a far cry from the usual venues we head to where it smells like a footballer’s changing room. Opening with ‘Woman’ the 9 minute long opener from his latest album, the haunting melting tone of Dallas Green’s vocal echoes through the venue and kicks everything off to a great start. For Dallas to capture and hold gig-goers attention for 9 minutes shows the true potential of the front man.
Dallas isn’t one for lengthy monologues and crowd interaction, his passion and emotion for the night is driven by his music, and less chatter means more songs, which can only be a good thing. There is a lot of variety in the set, with a slight bias towards 2013’s The Hurry and the Harm and the latest album including the heavily emotional ‘If I Should Go Before You’, ‘Lover Come Back’ and ‘Killing Time’.
The most joyous crowd participation of the event comes from the inclusion of ‘Sleeping Sickness’ as Dallas introduces it so simply as a “song about dying”, with the crowd swaying and joining in. Vocally, Dallas is sensational and absolutely spot on with every note, giving his all to every track. It’s the kind of music which is strong enough for an emotional arena moment, but still feels intimate. As the twinkling notes ascend through the crowd and Dallas sings “Hello, I’m in Delaware” fans throughout are blown away by one of the band’s oldest tracks.
The four song encore begins as a delicate feature with just Dallas alone on stage with his guitar and a single light shining on him, while he sings through ‘Day Old Hate’ and during ‘The Girl’ the rest of his band join him back on stage.
There’s something about City and Colour which brings out the lover rather than fighter, with almost all of the crowd having attended with a loved one, the band just have this effect with their chilled out music. For the first time having seen City and Colour we were blown away. It takes a lot to have sort of effect on a crowd that Dallas does and for that we commend him.