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Playing the soundtrack of summers past

Dashboard Confessional
Cannery Ballroom
Nashville, TN
March 31, 2011
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Story and photos by Kate Seesholtz

It has been a decade since Dashboard Confessional released its first album, The Swiss Army Romance. In commemoration of the LP, singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba set out on a tenth anniversary tour, making its stop in Nashville Thursday evening. Starting with the song that first made the artist famous, "Screaming Infidelities," Carrabba continued through the entire album, with only his acoustic guitar to assist him. As the crowd sang along to every song, the seemingly ageless singer remarked that he couldn't believe it had been ten years.

Dashboard Confessional's fans have always been the backbone of the band, and this show was no different. Chris Carrabba often stepped away from the microphone to allow the crowd to take over. Even country singer Taylor Swift could be seen singing along from the shadows. Carrabba even began to laugh during "So Long Sweet Summer," amazed that the audience still remembered every line, every refrain.

The teenage angst that made Dashboard Confessioanl famous was gone from the singer's voice on songs such as "Again I Go Unnoticed." Though, that's to be expected a decade later. The emotional singer is no longer in his mid twenties, but is almost 36, and his fans are no longer in high school, playing Dashboard's albums as the soundtrack to their summers. Chris Carrabba remains an intensely private person, but his songs still showcased a deep passion. "Ender Will Save Us All" gave the audience a glimpse of that, as the mysterious singer belted out the simple lyrics with his famous scream.

Playing a show in Nashville can be daunting for any artist. The audience at The Cannery Ballroom was often distracted, and their chatter made it hard to focus on the music. The crowd finally seemed to come together on favorites "As Lovers Go" and "The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most" - songs that brought out the intensity the audience grew up with. Choosing to play as many songs as he could without an encore, Chris Carrabba closed out the night with a song about "one of the best days of his life," "Hands Down." For fans that had waited a decade to finally see Dashboard Confessional live, it was an appropriate ending to the evening.

Related articles:

Dashboard Confessional - Concert review - Chicago, IL - Apr. 2010
Dashboard Confessional (Voodoo Music Experience 2008) - Photo gallery - New Orleans, LA - Aug. 2008
Dashboard Confessional - Concert review - Rosemont, IL - Oct. 2006
Dashboard Confessional / Thrice / Get Up Kids - Concert review - Rosemont, IL - May 2004
Beck / Dashboard Confessional / The Black Keys - Concert review - Chicago, IL - June 2003

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