City and Colour, the brainchild of former Alexisonfire's Dallas Green, stopped over in Fort Lauderdale for a highly anticipated Saturday evening show. The crowd was nearly sold out by the time doors were opened, and tickets quickly dwindled as the fans continued to file in. The Greyhounds kicked off the night – a bluesy jam band consisting of Andrew Trube on guitar, Anthony Farrell on keys and a touring drummer. A spacey astronaut danced his way around the stage, but remained unnoticed by the band, during their forty-five minute set.
While City and Colour is commonly referred to as a “side band” it's hard to agree with that statement. Green's accomplishments with his raw, open, and honest songwriting surpasses that of his time in Alexisonfire, and to me the two bands are complete separate entities of each other. The set up was minimal as Dallas and co took the stage, leaving just the music to convey their energy. With blasts of lights mixed in with solemn blues and reds, the band kicked off with their almost ten minute soulful “Woman.” “Woman” comes from their latest release If I Should Go Before You, aptly titled as Green delves into the world of morality.
The setlist was a nice mixture of older and newer tracks – show casing a total of six songs off the latest record. The sixth song, however, took us back to City and Colour's roots with “Hello, I'm in Delaware” which had the fans singing along with Dallas. “Hello, I'm in Delaware” was recorded in the early stages of Green's transition to an acoustic indie singer from a screamo frontman, marking it a classic in the eyes of their fans. Green is a meek and introverted frontman, but I think that suits his style of music. He lets the music speak for itself, and doesn't over-saturate the show with idle chit-chat. He is there to perform, and he dumps all of his emotion and energy into that alone.
City and Colour gives life to the hardest and most beautiful moments in life – love, death, insecurity, heartbreak – and you experience the entirety of that with their live show. While the stage presence may not be flashy, and the long melancholy songs seem drawn out, if you give yourself over to City and Colour you will experience a full range of Green's emotions. There won't be a lot of moving around, but you are going to get a genuine performance. Green's band stepped off the stage and we were treated to a snippet of raw acoustic Green before the band returned for the encore.
2. Northern Blues
3. Two Coins 4. If I Should Go Before You 5. Killing Time 6. Hello, I'm in Delaware 7. Wasted Love
8. Weightless 9. Lover Come Back 10. We Found Each Other in the Dark 11. Sleeping Sickness 12. Peaceful Road (dedicated to Chuck Berry) 13. The Grand Optimist 14. As Much as I Ever Could
Encore: Body in a Box Northern Wind Comin' Home/This Could Be Anywhere in the World The Girl Hope For Now