City and Colour Bring Affecting Folk to NYC’s Rumsey Playfield
Dallas Green has come a very, very long way from his hardcore and metal roots. Last week on 9/20, the singer/songwriter performed with his band City and Colour at Rumsey Playfield in NYC’s Central Park, and gave a show that will not soon be forgotten by those in attendance.
Possessing arguably one of the best voices in both rock and folk music, Green previously performed with the Canadian metal band Alexisonfire as both a back-up singer and rhythm guitarist. Now a front-man, he bashfully took the stage at Rumsey Playfield with the rest of his crew and launched into an emotional and energetic set spanning his four album career (which only began in 2005.)
He played his semi-hollow body guitar a few times and his Fender Jag at least twice, but the majority of his truly enthralling set was played on his acoustic rigged with a pickup in the sound hole. Technically, his live show was “perfect,” but Mr. Colour offered us “chemical-X” during the show, and that is what set this performance apart. When a man’s voice finds that perfect balance between boundless control and raw emotional edge, he has a weapon for creating true, guttural art.
Green’s songbook, while shockingly young, is so extensive that it allows him to take the audience on any emotional ride he sees fit. Getting some recent hits out of the way at first (“The Hurry and the Harm” and “Thirst”), he appeased true fans with some oldies like “Sleeping Sickness,” “Day Old Hate,” and the ladies’ favorite “The Girl.” While considering what I’d write about in this concert review, my heart stood still when Green took a moment to preface “Grand Optimist” by talking about his relationship with his parents.
Yes, it’s folk—there are a lot of similar chord changes you will knowingly recognize. Yes, there’s a steel lap guitar—you might feel some country vibes with all the beards and denim shirts around you while listening to them play. However, what City and Colour achieve in simplicity and subtlety is what makes them true artists and true musicians. It’s a show that you will hate yourself for missing.