Dashboard Confessional help us cope at First Avenue


After a few years in hiatus, Dashboard Confessional are back, and currently on a North American tour that stopped at First Avenue on Sunday. A staple of what was once called emo the bands fans have grown up, gotten jobs, and moved out of their darkened rooms in their parents’ house where they listened to “Screaming Infidelities” on repeat. They were the core of yesterday’s audience but Dashboard Confessional also drew a younger audience.

Opening the show was This Wild Life, the duo of Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso. They had some serious fans in the crowd as shouts of “I love you” could be heard through their set. After opening with “Pull Me Out” they introduced a few older songs to their audience. “No More Bad Days” was dedicated to Jordan’s Mother. Overall an enjoyable set.

Vinyl Theatre, a trio composed of Keegan Calmes, Chris Senner, and Nick Cesarz, who got their start in Milwaukee was up next. Vinyl Theatre has a synthy sound (as evidenced by a Keytar being played). They introduced a new song “30 seconds” that blended into a well-done cover of The Killers “All These Things That I’ve Done”. Their show was energetic and the crowd responded well, especially to their well-known song “Breaking Up My Bones”
Set List: My Fault / Day In Day Out / Shine On / 30 Seconds / Bones / New Machines / Fix You / Gold / Island / Fade Away

As the stage set up for Dashboard Confessional, the crowd got ready for them by singing to the house music. That may have been a vocal warmup because many of them sang along to most of the songs through the show. The band’s core of Chris Carrabba and Scott Schoenbeck is still intact and augmented by AJ Cheek and Ben Homola. They are writing new songs and introduced one of them “Heart.Beat. Here” during their acoustic set. What stood out to me was the band’s connection to the audience. Introducing another new song “We Fight” Carrabba brought up the current news and stated: “If you are happy with what’s going on, good for you. But if you are perplexed….Me too!” and that musicians should change things for the better.
The closing song of their set “Vindicated” felt like a release of pent up teenage angst that was covered up by being an adult. As much as the term “emo” has been made fun of, there are much worse ways to release than singing to music that shaped your youth. And while that may not cure all the ails the world, fans walking out into the night, probably felt a lot better than they did walking into First Avenue.

Set List: The Good Fight / Saints and Sailors / The Sharp Hint of New Tears / Lovers / Several Ways to Die Trying / Stolen / We Fight
Acoustic: The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most / Ghost of a Good Thing / Heart Beat Here
The Best Deceptions / Again I Go Unnoticed / Get Me Right / Screaming Infidelities / Vindicated Encore: Hands Down