Several studies have outlined the benefits tied to Himalayan Salt Lamps: helping with anxiety, reducing stress, purifying, relieve migraines… these salt lamps have been sworn to boost moods, helping users live a happier life. Perhaps this is why Dashboard Confessional lines their stage with them? Perhaps they just enjoy the feng shui vibe. One thing we know for sure? When the Salt Lamps are brought out, paired with the calming aroma of lit incense (was it Sandalwood, boys?) — our lives are seconds away from getting a whole lot happier.
It may be ironic, to boast about increase happiness while discussing bands that helped define “emo” as we knew and loved it. This is 2017, after all. And “emo” has gotten a whole lot brighter.
In recent years, several memorable tours rocked the ‘emo community.’ Dashboard teamed up with Third Eye Blind in 2015, Jimmy Eat World and The Used headlined a Taste Of Chaos festival in 2016. Brand New made an epic comeback to feature The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me in full for a select lucky number of cities across the US. It seems as though even as our generation ages, one thing for certain: we’re all still just emo kids at heart, hopelessly waiting for My Chemical Romance’s reunion announcement…
Until then, Dashboard Confessional has been doing a phenomenal job biding our time. Earlier this year, they announced they’d be teaming up with The All-American Rejects to give us an incredible experience and one absolutely unforgettable night, unlike any Dashboard performances you may have seen before.
The tour kicked off in California, night two in San Francisco’s Masonic. They are joined on stage (for the first half of the tour) by The Social Animals — a newer band out of Duluth, Minnesota. Lead by lead vocalist Dedric Clark, these boys are gearing up to release their sophomore EP, coined Early Twenties due sometime this year and we cannot wait to hear it! Most impressive is their pluck to tackle on Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” which they adapt beautifully in the middle of their set.
It doesn’t get much more emo than telling someone you are “crushed by a former love” and to “swing” from the tangled remains… but that’s exactly why we love The All-American Rejects and their first hit, which made it’s way to our airwaves way back in 2002. The band kicked off their set hard, inaudibly announcing: we’re back! And the crowd accepted them as if it hadn’t been a near five years since their last tour (okay, it wasn’t. Remember the Taste Of Chaos festival we mentioned from 2015? They were there. and AAR was as amazing as ever).
Tyson Ritter flirted with the excited crowd, going from “Swing, Swing” to “Fallin’ Apart,” a track off of their 2008 When The World Comes Down which was an absolute delight to hear live as it’s always been one of our personal favorites!
“How does it feelto be watching us as adults now?” Ritter teases the crowd, not being shy in the least bit with the hiatus The All-American Rejects took to focus on themselves. They return stronger than ever, having just put out two amazing new singles: “Sweat” and “Close Your Eyes,” both which made their second-ever live debut tonight.
The band is full of smiles as they joke on stage that their own music is like a blast from the past, painting vivid pictures of college dorm walls (or even your bedroom at your parents… I was only 12 in 2002 when AAR first hit the scene) and days not forgotten. Tyson shares his own pang of nostalgia: a story of his first ever concert… The Anniversary with openers, Dashboard Confessional. The band powered through an amazing set list of all their best, including a song that many may have never heard of: “There’s A Place” off of the motion picture soundtrack for “Miss You Already” starring none other than Tyson Ritter himself. This beautiful, heartbreaking slow song was performed with palpable emotion from the band and fit right in with the general vibe of the evening.
Oh, the salt lamps.
After a short intermission, the stage is prepared for Dashboard in a similar fashion to those who have been lucky enough to see Dashboard Confessional perform before. Salt lamps are placed at the foot of where each of them is to stand, decorating the stage which features a vintage, pillowy looking backdrop. Tonight is by far the largest production we’ve had the pleasure of seeing Dashboard Confessional in… but here’s the thing about Dashboard Confessional: regardless of the venue, Chris Carrabba has an incredibly unique ability to make you feel as though you’re the only one there in the room being sung to. Take it from someone fortunate enough to have caught Dashboard at a number of events in the past few years: massive outdoor amphitheaters for the Taste Of Chaos tour, the small and intimate Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco or the even smaller Independent bar/venue where Carrabba played just months ago with his other project Twin Forks. It hardly matters the setting. Dashboard Confessional is committed to making each and every performance unique, personal and unforgettable.
The band take the stage and show they’re not wasting time. They begin immediately with fan favorite, “Vindicated,” which we all know and love from the Spiderman soundtrack back in 2004. The show is begun in such a fashion that some three-thousand fans are singing along so loudly that Carrabba can take a step back from the microphone and allow the song to carry on flawlessly. Guitarist Armon Jay, bassist Scott Schoenbeck, and drummer Ben Homola each have such a memorable presence on stage, leaving no doubt in our minds that there is absolutely nowhere else these men would rather be, even as Chris informally addresses the crowd with a casual “hey… thanks for listening.”
It wouldn’t be a Dashboard show without some one-on-one with Carrabba and he never fails to disappoint. He performs a few of Dashboard’s most memorable songs acoustically: “Ghost Of A Good Thing” and a new song titled “Heart Beat Here” which Chris has been playing experimentally recording the fans singing it back live, sharing his plans to include the fans on Dashboard’s newest upcoming album.
“This next song’s about…” Carrabba is cut off by an enthusiastic fan screaming her heart out and jokes, “Oh yeah? I love that one!” He mimics, teasing how could she know and yet following it up with a smug…but totally suave and pulled-off grin, “Nah, you know [you love it]” before kicking off “The Places You Have Come to Fear The Most.”
The sentiment is never wasted with Carrabba who shares how grateful he is for the fans who have allowed him to be a part of something special. “And by that.. I mean you,” he says just before explaining his plans to mix the fans on “Heart Beat Here.” He shares that over the past year he’s been asking fans to sing along, for this experiment and if it sounds terrible… he promises it won’t be our fault. “I’ve heard it. It’s tremendous,” he says with a glimmer in his eye, and you know that he means it, singing his heart out to this new, intimate song. As he hits high notes many vocalists can only dream of and holds the notes in perfect pitch for well over a minute if not two. It’s as impressive as they come, enough to bring goosebumps and/or tears to those witnessing such raw and emotional talent.
It is so apparent that tonight is for the fans. As the band joins Chris back on stage, they continue through their impressive nearly 20-year catalog of songs. With a single chord, the fans cheer for each and every song, one after another. The stage illuminates from purples to golds, looking regal and yet… as the band kicks off into “Remember To Breathe,” Carrabba is hardly shy as he sneaks in a Justin Bieber cover of “Love Yourself,” to the end of the song.
The night is closed out by the one and only “Hands Down,” but not until after Carrabba has had the opportunity to gush about how important his band members are. “These are my friends… I dreamed of playing in a band with them for a decade. Every night is a dream. This is the best drummer and I can’t believe I’ve got him to be in my band,” he says in a full genuine confession, pointing back to Ben and taking moments to also mention how many bands Scott has been in, including The Promise Ring to which Carrabba says, “if you don’t know The Promise Ring, you’re not emo-ring correctly.” and of course, last but not least, AJ’s very own solo project by his own name which he recently released an album under Del Rio which deserves to be checked out here: http://armonjay.com/
To commemorate their tour, Dashboard and The Rejects decided to treat fans with covers of their biggest hits. You can catch Dashboard’s cover of “Move Along” and The Rejects take on “Hands Down,” on Consequence of Sound!
Be sure not to miss this epic tour as they make their way through North America. Check out the remaining tour dates below!
Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Rejects 2017 Tour Dates:
WITH SUPPORT FROM THE SOCIAL ANIMALS:
07/17 – Boise, ID @ Outlaw Field at the Idaho Botanical Garden
07/17 – Sandy, UT @ Sandy Amphitheater
07/21 – Maplewood, MN @ Myth
07/22 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Casino
07/23 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Pageant
WITH SUPPORT FROM THE MAINE:
07/25 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live
07/26 – Detroit, MI @Fillmore Detroit
07/29 – Big Flats, NY @ Tags
07/30 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center
08/03 – New York, NY @ Central Park SummerStage
08/04 – Mashantucket, CT @ The Grande Theater at Foxwood Resort Casino
08/05 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook
08/06 – Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
08/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
08/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier
08/10 – Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap
08/12 – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
08/13 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
08/15 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia
08/16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Indiana State Fair