Chris Carrabba, the driving force behind Dashboard Confessional played an acoustic solo show Friday at Amos' Southend to commemorate the 10th anniversary of DC's debut album, "The Swiss Army Romance." He started with my favorite track, "Screaming Infidelities" (which I assumed he would since its the first song on that album) and ended with my friend's (who took the above photo with her phone) - "Hands Down." In between he played "Swiss Army Romance," took requests, and led his devotees in spot-on sing-alongs with an appreciative grin.
Carrabba could just step away from the microphone and the legion of 1,000 fans hanging on his every word would dutifully finish a passage or completely run with it as they did during the final verse of "The Best Deceptions" late in the show. There was a connection there that illustrated how much his words mean to his audience and made those group sings different from a beer-raising, party anthem that everybody knows the words to because they've heard it on the radio a zillion times.
The set-up was simple. Carrabba in jeans and a blue button-up switched between a few classic old acoustic guitars, one of which was so worn it looked as if Coca-Cola had sprayed across the top where the finish was wearing away (I loved the look of it). His performance was so engaging I barely noticed the lack of a backing band. Songs like "Hands Down" and "As Lovers Go" (during which he verged on going hoarse) were a little slower and certainly less pop-punk than the album versions. Another highlight was "Vindicated" from the "Spiderman 2" soundtrack. Again, really not missing anything in its acoustic form.
Also of note, he didn't do an encore, mentioning that he didn't want to waste time (his and the audience's presumably) by pretending to leave the stage then return to a shower of applause just to play some more. "That would take like six minutes, that's what? Two songs," he said.
I wish more performers felt that way. He'd already received the adulation, so why not just skip the formalities and give the crowd a couple more songs.