On March 4, Dashboard Confessional played a second sold out show in a row at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit. This tour is celebrating 20 years of Dashboard Confessional, and was actually my first time seeing them. Opening was The Get Up Kids who had a pretty long, yet enjoyable set of 12 songs. They played a mix of songs from some of their older albums like Something to Write Home About that came out in 1999, as well as some songs off their newest album, Problems that came out last year. Prior to this show I hadn’t heard any of their music, but really enjoyed their set. The guitarists sometimes took turns leading songs and the whole band had great energetic stage presence. They performed some of their more well-played songs according to Spotify, such as “Ten Minutes” and “Action & Action” that I heard some of the audience singing along to. Before playing “Overdue” they joked how it was almost the theme song for One Tree Hill. Although it wasn’t the actual theme song, it is still a part of the soundtrack and their songs can be heard on a few episodes. As The Get Up Kids wrapped up their set and thanked everyone for listening to them play, anticipation began building for Dashboard Confessional up next.
I’ve always really liked Dashboard Confessional, and remember watching Dashboard Confessional MTV Unplugged 2.0 all the way back in 2002 with my parents and older brothers. I loved it so much I even had a burned CD of it and years later, still had it in my CD case when I got my first car. It’s now on Spotify for everyone to enjoy even 18 years later and is still so good. Looking back now, Chris Carrabba wrote and continues to sing these songs that I think everyone can relate to, which is why he is so influential even 20 years later; songs of first dates, heartbreak, and all the feelings between.
Chris Carrabba walked out onstage with just an acoustic guitar and a dimly lit stage to perform “Ghost of a Good Thing.” After the first song finished up, the lights changed and the rest of the band energetically came out to play “Vindicated” which definitely amped up the crowd. As much as I love just a singer and his acoustic guitar, the rest of the band coming out just took things to a whole new level! After “Vindicated,” the setlist included another 18 songs, many from A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar that everyone enthusiastically sang along to and Chris described as “hearing the album played on shuffle.” Some of the songs heard throughout the night from that album included "Bend and Not Break," "So Beautiful," and "Morning Calls." At one point Chris stopped to ask if this was anyone’s first Dashboard Confessional show and surprisingly for quite a few like me, it was! He then joked “It only took 20 years to get ya!” At other points in the show, Chris took time to give some love to The Get Up Kids, introduce his fellow talented band members onstage, and even gave a shout out to his lighting guy for making him look so good. He just seemed very grateful for those on tour with him and also everyone that took time to attend the show.
After a few more songs, Chris took a little time to talk about their home in Nashville and how it had been a tough couple of days after the news about the tornado came out. He truly thanked everyone for being there and that it was helping the whole band to have support during a difficult time. After playing a couple more songs, the band walked off and left Chris yet again with just his acoustic guitar. He played a few more stripped back songs like “Carry This Picture” and “As Lovers Go,” dedicated to a couple celebrating their anniversary, before the band joined him onstage for one of Dashboard Confessional’s most popular songs, “Screaming Infidelities.” You could just feel the energy in the room rise as everyone screamed their heart out for the next few songs. Everyone in the room seemed to enthusiastically come together as one, singing every word to these influential songs. Except of course, for the two miserable people in the back who were offended I quickly stepped in front of them to get a wide shot of the room. Don't be those people.
As the night came to a close, “Again I Go Unnoticed,” and “Don’t Wait” were performed before everyone walked offstage. Of course, the crowd wasn’t done singing yet and thankfully Chris wasn’t either, and had two more songs up his sleeve. Chris and the band came back out and went right into “Stolen,” of course followed by almost everyone’s favorite Dashboard Confessional song and also the perfect ending to the night, “Hands Down.” During “Hands Down,” I couldn’t help but smile as everyone around me seemed at home, clinging to their significant other, dancing, or holding hands with their best friend, screaming every word together. Certain songs truly feel like they bring people together, and this was definitely one of those moments. Overall, I really enjoyed finally seeing Dashboard Confessional live and would highly recommend any Dashboard Confessional fan check this tour out! Something to be admired about Chris Carrabba is his obvious talent, but also how filled with emotion he is when performing these songs, some that he wrote 20 years ago but still very much believes in. Unfortunately as of a few days ago, the rest of the DC20 tour has been postponed, but is said to be be rescheduled in June. All tickets purchased will still be honored. Keep an eye on Dashboard Confessional's website or Instagram for more updates to come! Dashboard Confessional:
The Get Up Kids: