Artists like Chris Carrabba, a.k.a. Dashboard Confessional, are a dying breed. Genuine, sensitive and undeniably talented, he has been the premiere singer-songwriter on the contemporary emo scene for ten years.
And though he has inspired many artists to follow, Chris is truly in a league of his own—completely unconcerned with what’s cool, and honestly in love with his art. Over the last ten years, fans have fallen in love with his heartfelt music and have watched Carrabba morph from a soft-spoken young man with an acoustic guitar into a full-fledged rock star. Now, he is usually found fronting his band in sold-out arenas, composing songs for movie soundtracks and touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Brand New and New Found Glory.
For reunions and anniversary tours, 2010 has been a huge year—with artists like Something Corporate, Good Charlotte and The Dresden Dolls all celebrating their ten-year milestones. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the release of his first album, The Swiss Army Romance, Carrabba decided to do it old school: just him and his guitar. The tour began on November 27th in Fort Lauderdale and will run until January 22nd in San Diego, with Carrabba playing the ten acoustic songs of Swiss Army in order every night.
The intimate performance at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club began with Dashboard’s magnum opus, “Screaming Infidelities.” The ecstatic crowd sang every word at the top of their lungs (and would continue to do so for the remainder of the hour and a half-long set). After all, Swiss Army is known best for Carrabba’s poetic lyrics, echoed time and time again by any teenager going through a rough breakup. Because of this, the audience consisted of almost all people in their mid-twenties, as Swiss Army was a defining album for many of them during the trial and tribulations of high school.
Chris played through the entire record with finnesse, letting the audience sing for him many times, as well. Though he claimed to have a cold, he laughed it off, saying that it made him sound more like he did on the original recordings. The crowd went crazy for fan favorites “The Sharp Hint of New Tears,” “The Swiss Army Romance” and “Again It Goes Unnoticed.” The impeccably well-versed audience did make one mistake, however, when during “Age Six Racer,” many of them started singing lyrics at the wrong time. Chris chuckled and said, ” I guess that’s how it goes now, huh? Actually, I kind of like that. I should start playing it that way!”
Once Swiss Army had been played all the way through, Carrabba announced he’d be staying on stage to play some tracks that we may have been hoping to hear. He then played a mix of songs from his first three albums (though, interestingly, none from his latest two), including “The Brilliant Dance,” “So Impossible,” “Stolen” and “Vindicated.” He then announced his last song and closed the set with the Dashboard classic, “Hands Down.”
As a long-time Dashboard Confessional fan, it’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the release of The Swiss Army Romance. But it’s clear that no one is more surprised than Carrabba, who smiled with disbelief throughout the night. What made the show so special was how incredibly thankful he was to be there—constantly commenting on how amazing it was that we made it this far. He even said that he recognized many of the fans from years ago and thanked them tirelessly for their support. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing him another ten years down the road.
If the Swiss Army Romance 10th Anniversary Tour hasn’t come to your city yet, check it out at these dates:
Dec 14 – Westchester, PA @ The Note
Dec 15 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
Dec 17 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot
Dec 18 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Dec 19 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
Jan 10 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
Jan 11 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
Jan 13 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Jan 14 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Jan 15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
Jan 16 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
Jan 19-21 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
Jan 22 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues