City and Colour delivers the solid rock goods at Jannus Live, St. Petersburg 

A look back at the Oct. 3 show.

Dallas Green, a.k.a. City and Colour, returned to Tampa Bay last Thurs., Oct. 3 and performed to a jam-packed Jannus Live in St. Pete. On this tour, City and Colour’s ever-rotating live band consisted of a five-piece, with Green taking his typical lead reigns as singer and guitarist. [Text by Daniel, photos by Tracy.]

City and Colour’s sound has morphed a bit over the course of four full-length albums, straightforward acoustic songwriting that began leaning more heavily toward the folk realms until it arrived at its current more rockin’ vibe in this year’s newly-released The Hurry and the Harm; all of it is a far cry from the material he released with post-hardcore group Alexisonfire. There is a level of ingeniousness in the way that Green tours as City and Colour. Since Dallas Green is City and Colour (the name comes from his actual name; a city and a color), and the musicians that join him on recordings and on the road are constantly rotating, no tour is quite the same as the last, and each song has a different live reading than what fans are accustoming to hearing on studio recordings. When he played The Ritz Ybor last year, Green was backed by Daniel Romano and his band, their old-timey country twang adding a similar sonic layer to City and Colour’s sound that night. Thursday night’s performance was more of a full-on rock show. Most of City and Colour’s (typically acoustic) songs were rearranged and reworked, the result a very bluesy, almost jam-band feel replete with extended instrumental breaks and endings that showcased each performer’s talents.

The setlist encompassed a mix of songs appeasing fans both old and new. The band opened the evening with newer fare — “Of Space and Time” and “The Lonely Life” — and then backtracked through cuts from later albums, eventually leading to a short solo acoustic set in the middle of the concert by Green himself. Fantastic backing band aside, we were all pleased to see him return to basics and play some mellow favorites like “Body in a Box” and “Sensible Heart.” Before the set, Green asked that everyone hold their phones and cameras in the air, then put them in their pockets for one song (“Body in a Box”). He explained the importance of experiencing the moment as it’s happening in front of you. “If someone starts recording, politely tell them to fuck off,” he concluded.

Green’s guitar prowess and soft croon were clean and precise throughout the night’s performance, and his backing instrumentalists were equally on par and given ample time to shine; I particularly enjoyed some standout moments by the pedal steel player. Another highlight was the band’s flawless transitions through three songs — from “Fragile Bird” to a teased section from “As Much as I Ever Could” (which they played earlier in the evening) and then directly into “Sorrowing Man.” The encore proved a real treat, too: a mash-up of the band’s own track, “Sometimes (I Wish),” and D’Angelo’s “Shit, Damn, Motherfucker,”

Overall, City and Colour’s performance at Jannus was a fantastic display of musicianship stripped-down to its essentials. Other than some nice lighting, there was no glitz and no glamour, just raw musical talent. It was refreshing, inspiring, and certainly entertaining.

SETLIST:

*Full band*
- Of Space and Time
- The Lonely Life
- Grand Optimist
- As Much As I Ever Could
- Sam Malone
- Weightless

*Solo acoustic*
- Body in a Box
- Sensible Heart
- Northern Wind
- Paradise

*full band*
- We Found Each Other in the Dark
- Sleeping Sickness
- Harder Than Stone
- Waiting
- Thirst
- Fragile Bird>"I am not where I belong" tease>Sorrowing Man

*encore*
- The Girl
- Sometimes (I Wish)/Shit, Damn, Motherfucker

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