Dashboard Confessional played 6 NYC shows (at 4 venues) – pics & review
Dashboard Confessional are currently on the road and just came to NYC for six intimate shows. They did a three-night run at Irving Plaza (a much smaller place than the shows on their recent tours with Taking Back Sunday and The Early November and with Third Eye Blind), and Chris Carrabba did an even more intimate surprise acoustic show at midnight each night. He played Knitting Factory Brooklyn on Thursday (1/19), Baby's All Right on Friday (1/20), and Rough Trade on Saturday (1/21). We've got pictures of the Baby's show and night three of the Irving Plaza run. I caught the latter.
Nostalgia for emo is at a high right now, to the point where cities all over the country have their own "emo nights" (aka a DJ plays classic emo songs and millennials get drunk and sing along). It's such a thing that even The New Yorker is running articles about it. (As you may know, NYC has a few of these emo nights.) Before Dashboard took the stage on Saturday night, the show's DJ had a little emo night-stye fun of their own and the crowd totally bit. They played old Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World, Get Up Kids, Promise Ring and New Found Glory songs that had the crowd yelling almost every word and cheering after almost every song. (They also played Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." which maybe got the best crowd reaction of all.) It's kind of inspiring to see that much genuine excitement before a band takes the stage vs the usual apathy you see at rock shows in NYC. And as you can probably guess, that excitement continued for the entirety of Dashboard's set.
When Dashboard broke in the early aughts, I was too much of angsty punk kid that thought their sad-boy acoustic emo was way too sappy, and never really gave them much of a chance. (I rode for Chris' album with Further Seems Forever though.) So I didn't go into this show expecting a dose of nostalgia, or really expecting anything at all. I just kinda figured it was time to put my teenage judgements behind me and finally catch them. Turns out, they've aged a lot more gracefully as a live band than some of the '00s emo bands I did obsess over.
They kicked off the show with two songs from the early acoustic days, "Saints and Sailors" and "The Sharp Hint of New Tears," but these days they play those songs as a four-piece with electric guitars and they just sounded like a solid rock band. The sappiness that used to turn me off was nowhere to be found. Dashboard sounded bright, punchy, and tight as hell. It wasn't until the third song that they played something they actually recorded with a distorted guitar, "Rapid Hope Loss," and I couldn't have told you those songs were from different eras. Everything fit right in.
Later on in the set, the rest of the band left the stage and Chris did do a solo acoustic portion, which often had the crowd singing louder than he was. At this point my judgements were fully out the window and I was genuinely enjoying Chris Carrabba serenading a packed Irving Plaza about wishing he was making out with someone. TFW your adult self finally starts appreciating music geared towards preteens.
Ahead of the NYC shows, Dashboard released a covers EP that included covers of Julien Baker, Sorority Noise, and more. He didn't play any of those covers at Irving Plaza, but did some of them at his acoustic aftershows. Setlist from Irving Plaza and pictures from Baby's All Right below. Pictures from Irving are in the gallery above.
Dashboard Confessional @ Irving Plaza - 1/21/17 Setlist (via)
Saints and Sailors
The Sharp Hint of New Tears
Rapid Hope Loss
Bend and Not Break
A Plain Morning
The Swiss Army Romance
Heart Beat Here
Again I Go Unnoticed
For You to Notice
Remember to Breathe
photos by Amanda Hatfield & Sean P