There are those bands or songs that just, for whatever reason, really resonate with a person. Certain music for me, has the ability to paint a picture in my mind that’s almost superior to a photo album – taking me back to an exact moment in time, where everything in that instance comes alive. There is no song more important to me, than the Dashboard Confessional track “Stolen“. I have been a fan of the band since its inception in the early 2000’s…but that particular song will forever be associated with the most magical moment of my life, watching my stunning wife walk down the aisle on our wedding day. It’s moments like that, that I wish you could bottle. Seeing the band play that song live last week together with her, was the next best thing.
That’s why music can be so powerful. It can have the ability to associate itself with the most important times of a person’s life. For that reason, Dashboard Confessional will always hold a uniquely special place in my heart. One that is deeply personal, and profoundly positive.
So needless to say, it was an exciting moment to see Dashboard Confessional make their spectacular return to Calgary in over a decade. It was a night of moments. The band’s frontman Chris Carrabba has always had a unique ability to pen strikingly emotional lyrics and thread them through eloquently crafted song structure. From the anthemic show opening classic song of “Don’t Wait“, to the excellently executed new single “Belong“ mid-way through, to the intimate concert ending acoustic ballad of new track “Heart Beat Here“, the group expertly weaved through its sprawling musical catalogue.
The concert was paced extremely well as Carrabba switched back and forth from the full backing band on the groups newer songs, to solo acoustic renditions of earlier material. With so many hits featuring such clever and poignant lyrical content, the crowd was hanging on and shouting every word. An important highlight of the night was an emotional and moving version of the bands new single “We Fight“, with Carrabba explaining his close connection to the recent American school shooting in Parkland, Florida; having grown up only a half hour away from the tragedy. Another highlight, was a crowd led sing-along of the classic hit “The Best Deceptions“, where Carrabba let the cutting vocals breathe and allowed the fans take it home.
Set in Calgary’s iconic MacEwan Hall Ballroom, it was a fitting and intimate venue perfect for an act such as Dashboard Confessional. An act that, for me, knows always “Just What to Say”.