A Band for Proposal

“It’s not about me, it’s about us.” Even before the music commenced, City and Colour frontman Dallas Green already knew how to win the hearts of the sold-out crowd “woo-ing” and standing below him.

On June 4, City and Colour released their fourth album The Hurry and the Harm. Realizing that the tracks were recorded in a city outside of Canada , Green spoke of it as a “wonderful experience” and an amazing build-up to the worldwide tour they were about to begin for the summertime. With a packed theatre and no cloud in sight, things were looking very splendid to kick off with an outdoor concert night in Vancouver.

Running on stage first was Hey Ocean! frontwoman Ashleigh Ball, who proceeded to  stand front and centre, twirling her skirt like it was a scene from Smallville or A Cinderella Story. Only most recently have I come across the local Vancouverite band, but after hearing more about them, they have definitely gotten my approval of good tunes. After their big break in 2005, they’ve become a national treasure to the Canadian music industry and they’re showing no signs of letting up anytime soon.

Infamously known for her flute-playing skills, Ball peppered the crowd with a subtle mood of nostalgia and mellowness in her last few songs. At this point, the echo and pitch of the instrument created a sort of sereneness – the type where everyone stops what they’re doing and focuses on one part of the stage. Everyone was tuned into a state of trance and ready for more to come.

When Jimmy Eat World slowly took their places to perform, the surrealism of it all was incredible. After coming to the Commodore Ballroom in 2011, there’s been an immense amount of anticipation for them to bring their talent back to Vancouver. Bringing the audience to a peak of excitement in the first 45 minutes of the show was enough to prove it. Next thing you know, a cover of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” alongside riveting guitar riffs and extreme bass drums started to play and the crowd separated into a mixture of vibes; there were the ones that knew every lyric to the song, and the ones that were confused and sat quietly.

Ending their performance with a boom was when “The Middle” rang through the speakers. It fit so perfectly with the summery aura, everyone was sipping beers and dancing in cut-off groups like it was 2001 again.

After a countdown from four, Dallas Green casually walked on stage with his denim jacket, jeans, loafers, cowboy hat toward his best accessory – the patiently waiting white acoustic guitar. Similar to the vibe of sitting around a huge campfire and singing song, this concert radiated a feeling that was impossible not to enjoy.

From “Of Space and Time” to “Fragile Bird”, Green mixed up his playlist and the acoustics sounded impeccable for every guitar strum and high hat hit.

You know Dallas Green is a humble, unpretentious Canadian (not to be stereotypical, but you have to admit, it’s a good thing) when he tells security to back down after chasing a fan that had had a little too much to drink and dashed on stage for a few seconds.

The action didn’t stop there and at this point, everyone bobbed their heads. It was 9:30 and Green asked if Vancouver ever gets dark. “Thirst” was one of the last songs to play, highlighted by a sudden colourful light show that lifted everyone’s mood even higher.

The big bang happened when an encore was called out to Green and he re-emerged to sing “My Girl”. After the first chorus was sung, everyone stood up to clap and suddenly there was a huge wave of cheering and yelling. A man proposed to his girlfriend in the centre of the amphitheatre and everyone went wild. Dallas Green is half-strumming at this point, calling out to the audience to figure out what was happening. A few tears and congratulations later, he continued his song. I felt like I was playing a part in romantic-comedy movie.