All 📸 by The Manc Wanderer
In the heart of Manchester's architectural splendour, City and Colour brought his poignant melodies to the hallowed halls of the Albert Hall, a venue as breathtaking as the music itself. A place where stained glass and song lyrics meet, this gig was set to be more than just a performance—it was an experience, a confessional where every note resonated with the soul.
City and Colour, the moniker for the musical voyages of Dallas Green, has always been a chameleon of sound, blending his punk roots with the intimate acoustics of folk and the honest heartache of the blues. His newest album spins yet another thread in this rich tapestry, adding layers to an already immersive soundscape.
Before of City and Colour unfurled their hues upon the stage, the audience was first charmed by the arresting melodies of Ruby Waters. With a raw, sultry voice that weaves through the smoky crossroads of blues and indie rock, Waters provided the perfect prelude to the night's emotional journey. Her performance, a potent cocktail of husky vocals and gritty guitar, was a declaration of her artistry, etching her presence into the collective memory of the crowd. As the opening act, she didn’t just warm the stage; she set it ablaze, leaving a lingering sense of anticipation in the air for the rich, musical narrative that was to follow.
Dallas Green's voice, once woven through the aggressive tapestry of Alexisonfire's post-hardcore anthems, finds a vastly different home in City and Colour's repertoire. Where the former showcased his ability to harmonise with the angst and ferocity of electric riffs, the latter cradles his voice in its purest form—a gentle yet gripping force that pulls at the seams of the listener's heart. It's this same voice that permeates City and Colour’s seventh studio masterpiece, 'The Love Still Held Me Near'.
Released on March 31 via Still Records, an imprint of Dine Alone Records, the album is a marked departure from the raw screams of Alexisonfire, inviting us into a quieter, but no less intense, world. Green's signature tenor—delicate and poignant—has matured into an instrument of even greater emotional depth, weaving through tracks with a tender vulnerability that's as haunting as it is beautiful.
This album isn't just an addition to City and Colour's discography; it's a sonic diary stripped of pretence. It’s an unfiltered odyssey through the wilderness of loss, chronicling everything from the death of loved ones to Green’s personal reckonings with identity. There is no holding back as each track delves into the depths of heartache and the disquiet of a soul in search of peace. In Manchester's Albert Hall, amid the reverent grandeur, Green's voice was not merely an echo of his former self but a clarion call of his evolution—proof that from the ashes of the past, a phoenix of profound artistry can indeed rise.
As the set kicked off with "Meant to Be", it became clear that this wasn't just a concert; it was a communal gathering of spirits hungry for the lyrical poetry Green is renowned for. "Northern Blues" and "Thirst" came next, showcasing his unique ability to marry melody with a raw narrative that both soothes and sears.
"The Love Still Held Me Near," "Two Coins," and "We Found Each Other in the Dark" spun a web of intimacy that even the grandeur of the Albert Hall couldn't overshadow. The audience was packed in, a sea of faces illuminated by the stage, an ocean of fans moved by every chord and chorus.
When "Weightless" began, it felt as if the whole hall exhaled in unison—a collective release of everything held within. And then there was a moment of reverent silence before the familiar strains of "Astronaut" filled the space, proving once again that Green's voice could indeed transport us to the stars. Directing the crowd to illuminate their phones, creating a shimmering constellation within the confines of the hall, marked a stunning moment of unity in his performance. It was interactive, immersive, and undeniably poetic. This gesture transformed the venue into a microcosm of the cosmos, a turning point that elevated the set into something magical and unforgettable.
The cover of Alice in Chains' "Nutshell" was nothing short of transcendental, a moment where genres blended and the past met the present in a beautiful tribute. Hits like "Little Hell" and "Fucked it Up" followed, reminding everyone why City and Colour has etched a permanent place in their playlists. The latter being a song that united the venue, the lyrics were real and people felt it as they sung along putting emphasis on Fucked.
"Hard, Hard Time" and "Hello, I'm in Delaware" echoed with a vibe that was both haunting and uplifting, while "Bow Down to Love" served as a powerful reminder of the night's recurring theme: the enduring, transformative power of love.
The encore was a trifecta of anthems. "Northern Wind" blew through the hall, "Comin' Home" brought everyone to their feet with its blend of wanderlust and warmth, and "Lover Come Back" sealed the night as more than just a return—it was a revival.
"Sleeping Sickness" was the fitting finale to an evening where the atmosphere was electric, the crowd was spellbound, and Dallas Green proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that City and Colour is a master of the craft. His voice didn't just fill the room; it entranced, it captivated, it gave life to every shadow and story that the stunning Albert Hall has ever known.
In Manchester, City and Colour wasn't just heard; he was felt. And as the last notes faded into the night, we all walked away with a little more colour in our cheeks and a symphony in our steps.