City and Colour revs up the Motor City

By | January 17, 2010 at 9:18 PM

DETROIT – Not even the melancholic atmosphere of Detroit could withstand the upbeat vibe of Canadian rock band City and Colour Saturday evening.

From Grave Digger and the Monster Jam at Ford Field, Breaking Benjamin headlining the Joe Louis Arena, and Nick Jonas and the Administration stopping traffic in front of the Fox Theatre, there was no shortage of events on Saturday. For the 2,000+ people at the Detroit Fillmore, however, the choice was obvious. Dallas Green, known commonly through his band City and Colour, filled the sold out show with fans eagerly awaiting a performance.

Green walked from side stage, guitar at his side, standing alone underneath the glow of a single spotlight. After the eruption of applause from the excited audience, he jumped right into “Coming Home” from his debut LP Sometimes. From the opening chords of the gentle guitar work, Green wasted no time in showcasing his powerful voice. Midway through the song, the act set the tone for the rest of the show perfectly, with the rest of the City and Colour joining Green onstage for a full-band rendition of the song.

“How many of you guys are bummed that you bought tickets to this show super early and now you’re missing Nick Jonas?” Green jokingly asked the audience. “I would be. It’s probably a much, much better show.”

Green’s friendly demeanor continued throughout the diverse, yet familiar hour-long set. Ranging from vocals, guitar, and harmonica on “Body in a Box” to the full band set-up for “Sleeping Sickness,” the band performed a mix of songs from each of its studio releases.  Midway through the set, City and Colour also performed a unique cover of Low’s “Murderer.”

“I’ve been writing some new songs and hopefully this year I’ll have a new record,” said Green, introducing one of two new songs the band played.

After City and Colour closed with “As Much as I Ever Could,” the thousands in attendance were left begging for more, changing “One more song!” Green obliged.

Instead of doing a predictable single such as “Save Your Scissors,” which was not played in the set, Green mixed things up for a special encore. Asking the audience to join him in clapping, Green closed the night with an a capella performance of “Grinnin’ In Your Face” by blues legend Son House to a warm reaction.

“Dallas Green has the best voice in music, live or recorded,” longtime fan Tim Ottusch told idobi. “The performance was music in a very true form.”

Opening the show was Illinois native and singer/songwriter Lissie. Accompanied on stage by two other band members contributing additional guitar, backing vocals, and minimal percussion, Lissie’s half hour set engaged the crowd more than the average unknown opening act. Touring in support of the Why You Runnin’ EP, Lissie performed songs from the debut, such as “Little Lovin’” and her hometown-inspired “Oh, Mississippi”.  Throughout her short timeslot, Lissie was polite and friendly, taking time from the set to send prayers and well wishes to those in Haiti.

“It makes you realize life can change at any time,” she said. “It really puts life into perspective.”

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