Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 31/01/2014 | City and Colour – Hammersmith Apollo, London

31/01/2014 | City and Colour – Hammersmith Apollo, London

Lisa Ward


Dallas Green’s Alexisonfire routes have no been forgotten judging by tonight’s crowd, with those who clearly discovered him in his former years reveling in the more raucous songs of the night. Those who prefer his more acoustic sounds are not left behind however, and those who discovered Dallas during his City and Colour days, are treated to several solo numbers. It’s this ability to tread carefully between the two sounds which culminates into an outstanding show. The anthemic Thirst from latest album The Hurry and the Harm nestles up against the acoustic Waiting… from Bring Me Your Love, leaving this disparity almost unnoticeable.

As someone fonder of the softer songs, it’s the likes of The Girl and Harder Than Stone which tick the boxes. That’s not without an appreciation for the depth the band brings to the set however. Grand Optimist reels in its Americana styling, with the addition of the slide guitar adding a much needed edge to the sound, and the sympathetic and unimposing accompaniments add to the poignancy in Of Space and Time. Whilst the Alexisonfire version of Boiled Frogs is undoubtedly quieter than the original it welcomes a sing along from the crowd.

What’s striking it that whilst Dallas’ songs are brimming with honest, heartfelt lyrics, on stage he’s not much of a talker. It takes nearly 45 minutes for him to speak to the crowd, and it’s only to suggest that people put their phones away and allow Body In a Box to be left as moment between just him and the crowd. He adds a harmonica to the number, and from the balcony the lack of dotting lights from the room below allows the crowd to fall into darkness creating a fitting atmosphere for a song that takes a cold stare at death.

It’s closing numbers Two Coins and Death’s Song which really capture the heart of the night. As he sings “I’ve always been dark, with light somewhere in the distance” in the former, it’s a lyric which perfectly encapsulates the vibe of his song writing. Meanwhile as he questions “What becomes of me, when you stop listening? Do I disappear into the silence? Or return from the void with brand new life?….I’m singing my death song” I can only be left wondering if this is simply a different rendition of Dallas’ bleak look at life, or a suggestion that he might be reaching the end of his latest musical incarnation.