With my black cardigan sweater and converse on, I felt in place to be at a Dashboard Confessional show. Too bad I left my black rim glasses at home. There were actually more trendy high school kids than anything else, but that's the crowd Dashboard appeals most to. It was cold waiting in line to enter and I was afraid of dying before I was even able to see the show. That would have sucked because the show was exhilarating.
Opening was a Florida band Legends of Rodeo. I heard they sucked, and I personally thought they were okay. This was actually their first time in San Diego and the crowd seemed to welcome them with open arms. I wouldn't go out and buy their CD, but they're a band I could sit through and not complain. They have a good old rock and roll variety, but I hated the vocals. They played a song called "American Love" with an extremely over-dramatized ending. It was a little too early in the set to be closing a song the way they closed that one. The band made reference to The Simon and Simon Show taped in San Diego (for those who don't know it's an 80s detective show). Judging by the crowd's reaction, only a few people knew what they were talking about. The crowd was too young to know. These guys managed to incorporate Cheap Trick's "Surrender" into one of their songs, which was cool. That was the best rock they had all night. Their other guitarist took over one of the last songs and honestly, he sounded less whiney. He should take over. They'd go from OK to pretty good. Other songs played were "The Devil Started Rock & Roll" and "The Flags".
Next Up: 20 year old Ben Kweller. I've never heard of this guy until tonight. I loved him. Not many people knew what to expect, but judging by the crowd's reaction at the end of his set, they loved him too. For his first song, Ben jumped out onto the stage with his guitar and I'd say that was the best acoustic entrance I've ever seen. It was such a fun song. Ben Kweller himself played both acoustic and electric guitars as well as the piano. Each song sounded different from the last, which was awesome. I hate when every band's song sounds the same. He played songs from his recent full-length release "Sha Sha". My personal favorite was the title track "How it should be (Sha Sha)". Some of the songs played were "Family Tree" and "Commerce, TX" as well as others from his CD. I'm a new fan of this Ben Kweller, buy his CD. It'll be the best 10 bucks you spend all year.
Now for the Anniversary…they were a huge disappointment to me. I think the fans were just as disappointed, but I can't speak for everyone. They played more new songs like "Sweet Marie". Some screaming fans in front as well as my self were hoping for "D in Detroit" and I really wanted "Emma Discovery", I got neither. The last time I saw them was MUCH better. They played more old songs. I hope that when they swing by your town, you get a better set.
If you want a guaranteed good performance, trust Chris Carraba and his band Dashboard Confessional. In the past year, this Florida band has managed to get a huge following in San Diego, and slowly but surely, the rest of America. (Look for his video on MTV: "Screaming Infidelities") I've waited 2 whole months since the announcement of this scheduled appearance. The tickets sold out well over a month before the show was to come through town.
The band's opening selection was "Saints & Sailors". Good choice. The crowd, mostly the girls, went wild. Since they started with this song, I expected nothing but good times. (I expected good times anyway).
The set list:
Saints & Sailors
A Sharp Hint of New Tears
The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
Age Six Racer
For You To Notice…
The Brilliant Dance
The Best Deceptions
Living in your Letters
Again I Go Unnoticed
The Good Fight
Ender Will Save Us All
Chris was very good at getting crowd participation. On The Swiss Army Romance, guest vocals from band Rocking Horse Winner appear for song "Age Six Racer". Since he cant bring everyone on tour with him, he had the crowd sing the choir. It sounded really nice because there were mostly female voices. Throughout the night, the singing was sometimes as much there as Chris' vocals. He pointed out this was one of the top 3 loudest shows he's played on the tour.
I was very pleased with the performance. The band played some new songs. The first I disliked, the other was great. Like myself, the crowd didn't know what to make of the new songs. We couldn't sing along. How fun is that? At least now we know what to expect of the new album.
This is by far the best Dashboard Show I've ever been to. I had a good time. His set list choice was awesome. And he was less of an asshole from the very first time I saw him. The first time, he responded very poorly towards the crowd's comments. This time, he laughed about it. At one point, some one screamed "Father my children!" and Chris just made a joke of it. "That was a dude that just said that. Hey, I'm just saying…"
If this tour is scheduled to come through your town, GO. And don't be late or you'll miss Ben Kweller.