What a great way to end the Easter Bank Holiday weekend – my first gig at Royal Albert Hall. And what a venue it is, managing to be both huge and intimate all at once. It seems to go up higher than it goes back. I have a great, close-up view from Block G of the Stalls, to the left of the stage.
Support: James Vincent McMorrow
What an amazing voice this guy has. It’s just James Vincent McMorrow, an Irish singer-songwriter and his guitar as support tonight. I admit I’d never heard of him before but I do recognise at least one of his songs so he must have had some TV airplay. His folky music fits in really well tonight and we’re treated to a short but sweet set.
City and Colour
The brief interval helps me recognise the value of a seated show; being able to leave your seat, grab a drink and go for a wander without worrying about losing your place in the crowd. Now it’s time for Dallas Green and City and Colour to shine.
On the verge of releasing a new album, the forthcoming Little Hell, we are treated to three songs from the amazing second album, Bring Me Your Love before we get to hear the first new tune, Fragile Bird, which also happens to be the latest single. This song, as Dallas says, is a little different. The great vocals are there but the instruments are different and the whole sound is much less folky.
Dallas and his band have dressed up tonight in their Sunday best to mark this momentous occasion of them playing the Royal Albert Hall. It’s such an impressive venue and one which Dallas tonight claims he could never have imagined he would get the opportunity to play. It seems like such a special moment for him and he’s visibly excited tonight, speaking to the audience even more than usual.
The new songs played with his band are a real treat, and it’s great to see Dallas soloing away on his electric guitar. The night alternates between Dallas alone on stage with his acoustic guitar and strapped to his electric with full backing band, and the variation in sound and atmosphere is perfect.
When it’s time for the awesome Body In A Box, Dallas makes a plea for everyone to put down their cameras and mobile phones for the duration of the song, and experience it through their own eyes rather than through a tiny screen. “We don’t need another crappy version of this on YouTube.” He’s not annoyed, it’s more that he thinks people are missing out on the live experience while they’re there by trying to capture it for a later time. “Make the memory now, with your eyes, rather than filming it for later” is the message. It’s kind of an eerie, but wonderful experience to watch him performing the whole song without a single camera flash or red light from a video camera.
When Dallas comes back on stage for the encore, he sits down at grand piano to the left of the stage. Apparently they had one lying about downstairs so he thought, why not bring it out?! It’s great to hear the Alexisonfire “cover”, Happiness By The Kilowatt played, before back to the guitar for Comin’ Home and Sometimes (I Wish) which bring this amazing night to a close.
City and Colour will be back in Autumn, we’re promised, following the release of Little Hell. I can’t wait.
James Vincent McMorrow Setlist
We Are Ghosts / Sparrow And The Wolf / Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree / We Don’t Eat / Down The Burning Rope / If I Had A Boat / Red Dust
City and Colour Setlist
Forgive Me / The Death of Me / Waiting… / Fragile Bird / Sam Malone / As Much As I Ever Could / Like Knives / Body In A Box / O’ Sister / Hometown Glory (Adele cover) / What Makes A Man / Silver and Gold / Sleeping Sickness /// Happiness By The Kilowatt (Alexisonfire cover) / Comin’ Home / Sometimes (I Wish)