Concerts Concerts City and Colour, Tegan and Sara Astound a Packed Amphitheatre

City and Colour, Tegan and Sara Astound a Packed Amphitheatre

City and Colour at The Molson Amphitheatre
City and Colour
Tegan and Sara
Wintersleep, Ra Ra Riot
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario
August 28, 2010.

Photos and Review by: Julie Lavelle

A double headliner night at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre featured two of our very own talented Canadian bands: City and Colour and Tegan and Sara.

City and Colour

It's hard to know where to begin in order to explain the sheer beauty that was Saturday night at the amphitheatre with City and Colour and Tegan and Sara. Playing to a virtually sold-out venue, Dallas Green awkwardly walked on stage and immediately stepped into "Comin' Home," the second single off his first full length release Sometimes. The moment Dallas' soothing voice began the opening lines of the song we all knew that we were in for a serious treat. City and Colour is the solo project Dallas who first made his mark on his Canadian music scene in the hardcore band Alexisonfire. His sincerely pretty vocals could be heard throughout the loud music of Alexisonfire but it wasn't until this project that we knew exactly what he was capable of. Dallas is no stranger to large, sold-out venues, as he played 3 consecutive nights at Massey Hall in May 2009 and two nights back in 2006 at The Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Dallas remained fairly quiet after a couple of songs, but then blurted out "I wasn't going to say anything, but HOLY SHIT." Dallas' humble, genuine attitude is very refreshing and one feels extremely blessed to be in such a presence.

For this large show, Dallas brought along his backing band that consists of Daniel Romano on guitar (of Attack In Black) and Raising The Fawn members Dylan Green on drums and Scott Remil on bass. The full, rich sound that the band provides for Dallas' live show really adds to the effect and intensity of his music. Playing a wide range of old and new music, it was clear that the old favourites were always dying to be heard. During the last verse of "Hello, I'm In Delaware" the band blew away the crowd with the acapella ending. Dallas then began a few songs solo, starting with his first single "Save Your Scissors," which he kindly asked the crowd to "do this one together, if it's possible."

Dallas also took the opportunity to introduce a couple of new songs by the (maybe temporary) names of "Oh Sister" and "Silver and Gold." True to his usual sound, these songs were wonderfully melodic and partially heartwrenching. Following these he stepped into "Body In A Box" that moved up the pace of the set. The crowd, which managed to remain very respectful and quiet appeared to thoroughly enjoy this song off his latest release Bring Me Your Love.

As the set was coming to a close, Dallas brought Tegan and Sara back onstage in order to play another new song. He began by telling us how he never writes songs pertaining to certain subject matter but that when he heard about the oil spill he just couldn't help it. The song called "At The Bird's Foot" is supposed to be released online sometime next month. Dallas also proceeded to tell us how Tegan and Sara were his two favourite people in the world, and the happiness this group of musicians shared was obvious, they worked very well together on stage. This happiness quickly turned to sadness once the song began, as the lyrics were extremely vivid and powerful. Describing the poor animals stuck in the oil spill, one was left to imagine the pain they felt as Dallas sang "they must've been screaming, screaming to be saved."

At this point, Dallas played the most recent single by the name of "The Girl;" this catchy, romantic love song had the crowd going crazy. Even the little boy a couple of seats over who was no older than five years was exclaming how this was his "absolute favourite song" and was so happy he came!

It was shocking to me to see just how many people were leaving before the encore had even started. From my personal experience, the encore is generally the best part of the whole set as the rare or idolized songs are played and the band is at the point where they are giving it their all. As everyone stood for an ovation and the cheers erupted, Dallas came back on stage alone and sat down at the beautiful grand piano on the side of the stage. For those who have been following Dallas' music for a while, we all hoped the song we were thinking of was coming. As suspected, he broke into the moving cover of "Happiness By The Kilowatt" from his other band, Alexisonfire after explaining to the thousands of people that he is so thankful to be able to do what he's doing and that it's all he could ever imagine doing with his life. I recommend looking up the cover of this song and watching a video, as it is a beautiful, emotional rendition of an already amazing song.

For his final song he truly surprised everyone and brought out Gord Downie, of the famous Canadian band, The Tragically Hip. "Aren't you glad you didn't leave?!" was the exclamation from Dallas as he and Gord prepared to play "Sleeping Sickness," the second single from Bring Me Your Love. It was truly wonderful moment for Canadian music as all of these extremely talented musicians bonded together to play an extraordinary song.

As I followed the thousands of other fans out of the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, after the lights slowly came back on, all I could hear were exclaims of "Wow, what an amazing show!"and "That was so good, can you believe how great that was?!" Shows like these make me extremely happy to be Canadian, as we have some amazing musicians in our midst.

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Tegan and Sara

Canadian born twins Tegan and Sara are another gem that this country is lucky to call its own. Having played the Kool Haus back in January of this year in support of their latest release Sainthood no one was sure when they would grace our city with their presence again this year, but when this stellar lineup was announced everyone who's a fan of these talented ladies (or Dallas Green) was thoroughly excited. As the lights dimmed and the array of Ikea-esque paper lamps descended from the stage ceiling Tegan and Sara came on and immediately went into the old favourite "Living Room." Immediately everyone was at ease, singing and clapping along to this beloved song. It was clear to see that many people in the crowd had come specifically to see these two, as they have a cult-like fan base. Proceeding this song, they mentioned how they were "Too nervous to say anything" and that the "next song was for all the old-fashioned lovers," as they launched into "So Jealous."

Tegan and Sara are known for their stage banter and ability to make fun out of any awkward, quiet moment. Throughout the set they constantly mocked themselves, probably in order to calm their excitement, and despite whatever reason, they were a riot to watch. At one point Sara proceeded to tell us how had she really wanted to be a synchronized swimmer as a kid but never took dance lessons so she wasn't good enough, and then explained that we'll see why she's a bad dancer next. They then broke into their recent release "Alligator," which is very fun take on a 90s pop song and to be honest Sara looked plain adorable bopping around the stage.

Tegan and Sara looked impeccable at the show, both pulling off very classy outfits and their (overly poked at) well groomed haircuts. They fit extremely well together as a team, and compliment each other in every way. Tegan and Sara played many of their recent and new songs as well, but a few of them had been reworked. Such as the tune "Back In Your Head" from The Con played acoustically, really showed off their beautiful harmonizing and melodies.

Tegan and Sara were especially excited this evening because their mother was in town to watch the show and hadn't been here since they won a YTV achievement award ten years ago. All night they were exclaiming how insane and surreal this whole show and experience was. They both seemed truly thankful and happy to be experiencing such an evening. For a band that has been touring for just over 10 years, they truly deserve all the success that comes their way. One of the last things Sara said before they concluded their set was "I wish you could see inside my brain into my eyes and see what I'm seeing." They are a joy to see live, and their excitement and happy energy is truly a beautiful sight to behold.

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Wintersleep

As the sun began to set, Halifax's Wintersleep took the stage to play a beautiful but fairly slow set as the venue began to fill up before the headliners were to start.

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Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot were the only non-Canadian band on this lineup, hailing from Syracuse, New York to play a lively, energetic set soon after the doors opened.

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