red lights


Emo grows some balls

Dashboard Confessional
Allstate Arena
Rosemont, IL
Oct. 27, 2006
Dashboard Confessional Dashboard Confessional Dashboard Confessional

Story by Phil Bonyata
Photos by Karen Bondowski

Emo heartthrob Chris Carrabba and Dashboard Confessional played a healthy mix of it's once-prominent acoustic strumming along with a liberal dose of sing-alongs topped off with some heavy power chords. Opening with the lyrically prominent "Don't Wait" off of this year's Dusk and Summer Carrabba came charging out of the gates in electric overdrive. While rarely settling in front of his mic he ran from side to side of the stage stopping to strike a pose as he sung each chorus with vein popping volume and clarity. Songs such as "If You Can't Leave it Be, Might as Well Make it Bleed" and "Rooftops and Invitations" seemed to focus on the band's stylistic shifts in style - away from the stripped-down acoustics of their earlier days. On "Bend and Not Break" the entire two-thirds filled Allstate Arena sang loudly in unison with Carrabba's distinctly higher pitched and nasally delivery. Many Dashboard detractors have accused the band of angst ridden whinings. While some songs do seem to go overboard with their dark and syrupy lyrics - many others seem to bare witness to the true inner feelings of Chris Carrabba.

"So Long, So Long" had drummer Mike Marsh hammering the skins so hard that the rest of the band was fueled by his enthusiasm. The band does successfully bridge the softer melodies with the harder rock. Carrabba, wearing a windbreaker, jeans and a baseball cap, hardly looked the part of a rock star. He seemed to be trying to hard not to. Other numbers that played well were "Secrets In the Telling," "Dusk and Summer" and "Stolen."

The most spirited music was left for the encore. On the evocatively sung "Vindicated" Carrabba's whirling vocals and the band's decisive playing left all doubters in the dirt. Finally, "Hands Down" came off as a fiery metaphor filled with a passion bent on converting any of the doubters left in attendance. By the overwhelming and universal applause - the band apparently did just that.

Dashboard Confessional Dashboard Confessional
Dashboard Confessional Dashboard Confessional

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