By MIKE CHAIKEN
It’s clear that fans—at least those in Connecticut—are passionate about Dashboard Confessional.
The indie/ emo group led by Connecticut’s Chris Carrabba packed the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Aug. 4.
And from the moment the group stepped on stage, they had the audience in the palm of their hand.
Of course, it’s understandable why the fans are passionate about Dashboard Confessional. It’s because the group itself is passionate about their music.
Song after song, Carrabba proved that the music he wrote means something to him. Whether the song performed was from 10-plus years ago or newly written, the group attacked the songs as if the emotions evoked were of the moment. There was power behind the songwriting.
Although, Dashboard Confessional’s music is often labeled emo, Carrabba is no navel gazing front man. That also helped make the show a blast. He was engaged with the audience. He chatted— sharing stories and laughs. He may have stood in front of a full house at the 4,000 set Grand Theater but he acted as if he was just performing before a few friends in the basement of some downtown Hartford bar.
There were a lot of great moments. But it was fun to see Dashboard Confessional rip into the classic song “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure. It gave an insight into the band’s roots. It also showed that they know how to have fun.
“Heart Beat Here,” which is a new track, gave proof that Carrabba was true to his words when he wanted to revisit a musical path he overlooked earlier in his career. The song fit his true calling for literate lyrics and passionate music. The song, in which he got the audience to sing along, indicated that Dashboard Confessional always was about more than a hook and state of the art production.
Prior to Dashboard Confessional, the All American Rejects took the stage. The band’s lead singer Tyson Ritter has evolved into the alt-rock version of Steven Tyler mixed in with Jim Morrison. He vacillated between being all limbs and energy to chill and rock steady at the microphone.
Although there is word the band is working on new material, after several years out of the spotlight, the group focused on their earlier hits—giving the fans exactly what they wanted.
My favorite track of the evening was the power ballad “It Ends Tonight” from their second album “Move Along.” Another fave of the night was the band’s musical “up yours” of their single “Gives You Hell” from their third album “When the World Comes Down.”
The Maine performed prior to the All American Rejects and offered a high energy performance that gave the audience a great lead-in for the AAR and Dashboard with their brand of alt-rock.
Social Animals was given the unenviable task of hitting the stage a half-hour before the publicized show time. But they did a fine job with a mix of originals and a unique take on Prince’s “When Doves Cry” as the confused crowd wondered if they read their tickets wrong.
I give the Dashboard Confessional, the All-American Rejects, the Maine, and Social Animals concert at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Aug. 4 three out of four stars.