A Canadian Goes To See A Canadian in England: City & Colour Concert Review

So this is one of the first concerts that I’ve gotten to go to while in England and I find it very ironic that it was a Canadian act. However, it was a really great show for a variety of different reasons.

One of the first was that it was a spur of the moment kind of thing. I’ve always wanted to be able to decide to go to a good concert without months and months of waiting. When one of my friends found the show and saw that the tickets were well priced I jumped on, provided that we had a good group going with us. It was fun to only have to wait just a couple of weeks to go to the show as opposed to waiting months and months down the line. So that was fun.

Another reason that I loved the show was the fact that it was in Brighton. I’m about an hour away from London so I’ve got plenty of shows lined up in London however, not many shows were here in my own backyard. I wanted to check out some more local venues but I hadn’t found any shows that I found interesting. But this one immediately caught my interest so I liked that it’s actually super close.

But enough about that. On to the show.

The Show

The opener was an English singer-songwriter named Lucy Rose from just outside of London. Her music was very rock influenced but had a groovy quality to it which I really liked. It was a small band but she made her presence known and she commanded the room really well. One of my friends who was with me was very excited to get to see her live so that was really fun to watch. Dallas Green even came out to sing a song with her in the middle of her set which was really neat. Often there is a separation between the opener and the headliner but that didn’t seem to exist which I really liked.


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After she finished, it was time for the main act. Now I must admit that I was not as well versed in his music; to be fully honest, I know City and Colour more for the album he did with P!nk under the band name You + Me which I really liked. The little that I did know was that he’d done a lot of acoustic type songs and he was known for his acoustic vibes so I was not expecting this hard rock/bluesy sound. But man did I love it. Each song told their own story and the way the different melody lines interacted with the tones and timbres of the instruments was really unique.

One of the big things that I appreciated about this show as the fact that it had a lot of dynamics to it. Not all of the songs were super big and loud but not all of them were quiet and acoustic either. When it was a bit louder it was an opportunity for the musicians to show off their skills a bit while the acoustic songs created smaller intimate spaces which isn’t often seen in shows often. These variations in dynamics and performance really

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The one thing that I can’t speak about as much is the crowd. My friends were quite insistent on being close to the front which was cool because I’m never in the front. This is largely because I get very intense claustrophobia in groups of people and pushing to the front just doesn’t seem appealing to me at all. We were able to get to the front right away so I was okay and I didn’t freak out. However, I didn’t like that I didn’t get to properly feel the room and the vibe of the crowd. Live concerts are meant to be a shared experience of music so if you don’t get to fully experience that it can be a bit of a drawback.

On The Note Of Shared Experience

I did appreciate that my lack of knowledge about the music forced me to simply experience the show as opposed to participating in it. I wasn’t singing along (which is my usual form of participation) instead I was simply listening and focusing on the instrumentalists abilities and enjoying the music. I was forced to concentrate on understanding the lyrics without any previous knowledge which engaged a different part of my brain than the part that is normally engaged at a show. My emotional connection came through the newness of the music as opposed to nostalgia. When I look aback at this show, I’ll remember what it was like to experience something new.

Final Thoughts

I’d like to finish on this note: close to the end of the show Dallas was standing alone on the stage singing some songs with his acoustic guitar and he said something that struck my ear.

“I had hoped that people would hear these songs, I never assumed they would. So thanks for listening.”

I think I noticed this because I think I have the same line of thought. Artists create their art and they hope that people listen to it and are impacted by it. To experience and witness that happening i would imagine to be a very humbling experience. I only hope that I too get to experience that for myself.

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