w/ Vinyl Theatre, This Wild Life
San Francisco, CA
February 2, 2017
It hasn't even been a week into February, the month dreaded by those who loathe the over-saturation of the Hallmark holiday, Valentine's Day, that permeates our culture. The show that took place at the legendary San Francisco Fillmore was quite ironic given the month, as Dashboard Confessional, a project fronted by musician Chris Carrabba, features a plethora of songs that have been dubbed over the years as 'emo'. This means that the songs are about falling in love, having your heartbroken, loss, all that sad shit that really does continue on in your life after your teenage years but your "popular" friends from high school might laugh about it if you ever brought it up. What better way for the lost lovers of the Bay Area to ring in this godforsaken month than with a little emo from one of the frontrunners of the scene himself?
The sold out show took place on a rainy Thursday evening, as fans poured (get it?) into the venue to escape the rain. The music, while calmer than most shows I've seen at The Fillmore, was much more upbeat than the weather outside. To my surprise, acoustic-rock outfit This Wild Life had jumped on the tour and were the first band to open the show. I had never seen them, despite being instructed to by countless peers over the years, and I have to say that I was pleasantly impressed by their set. The Long Beach, CA duo, comprised of guitarist Anthony Del Grosso and vocalist/guitarist Kevin Jordan, took the stage for a mellow, yet emotional, thirty-minute opening set.
Main support for the show was provided by three-piece Vinyl Theatre. Pulling musical influence from alternative acts like Death Cab For Cutie and Two Door Cinema Club, they perform with the energy of a main stage act like Twenty One Pilots. Armed with only a drummer, a piano player, and a vocalist/guitarist, the band set themselves apart from the other acts on the tour with a unique brand of indie and pop-rock. Expect a great deal more from these guys. I can feel it.
By the time Dashboard Confessional took the stage, the crowd were ready. Opening with "The Good Fight", "Saints and Sailors" (The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most), and "The Sharp Hint of New Tears" (The Swiss Army Romance) got things off to a fantastic start. After a few songs, the band left the stage leaving only Carrabba behind, armed with nothing but his voice and acoustic guitar. Watching Chris interact with the crowd is quite the sight; most of the time, he doesn't even need to finish the verse, as the audience has his back.
The band returned toward the ends of the set, returning for such hits as "Screaming Infidelities" (The Swiss Army Romance) and "Vindicated" (Dusk and Summer). And of course, who could forget "Hands Down"? The perfect conclusion to the evening. As the rain beats against the roof outside, we filter out the exit, making our way back into reality.
This Wild Life
This has been another Shameless Promotion.