Dallas Green and Tegan & Sara Light Up The Amphitheatre

by Laura Stanley

When I heard about the co-headlining tour with two of my favourite bands, I expected nothing less of an amazing show and I was not disappointed.

On August 28, Alexisonfire member Dallas Green, aka City and Colour, teamed up with twins Tegan & Sara Quin for a festival type celebration at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre.

After becoming good friends while Dallas opened for Tegan & Sara in the States, the trio thought it would be a great way to celebrate the end of the summer to thank their fans in a festival setting.

New York based band, Ra Ra Riot, promoting the release of their new record, The Orchard and Halifax’s Wintersleep were added to the bill as openers making this concert one of the most anticipated of the summer.

Typical Toronto traffic prevented me, and most people, from seeing Ra Ra Riot’s set but having seen them open for a band previously, I was aware of their great live show they put on.

With the release of New Inheritors earlier this year, Wintersleep was proud to show off their new tunes to an audience, most likely, only familiar with their huge hit, Weighty Ghost.

The band did a fantastic job warming up the crowd while the vocals of lead singer, Paul Murphy, made it feel like a much more intimate show. Wintersleep was able to successfully integrate a mixture of old and new songs giving the audience a true taste of what this great band sounds like.

Being a fan of Dallas Green since the release of his solo project, circa 2006, I could not believe the number of people that had started to fill the Amphitheatre. Gone were the days when I could not find his debut disc, Sometimes anywhere. Never mind people knowing who I was talking about if I was to ever bring him up in conversation.

As the attendance numbers rose, so did the excitement. This concert marked my fifth time seeing Dallas Green, and I knew what I was in for, and was more excited to see the other concert headliners, the Quin sisters

A rather nervous Tegan & Sara took the stage with a loud Toronto welcome easing their way into an old song, “Living Room,” off their 2002 album, If It Was You. The twins quickly settled into the overpowering audience playing songs from their recently nominated Polaris Music Prize album, Sainthood.

Limiting their trademark stage banter to a minimum, the huge turnout for Tegan & Sara was not disappointed with a full 45 minute set.

When Dallas Green finally took the stage, the crowd’s energy level seemed more appropriate for an Alexisonfire concert rather than for the folkier side to Green.

A usual witty Green, also seemed taken back by the audience turnout limiting his reaction to, “I wasn’t going to say anything, but holy shit!”

Green performed both by himself and with his usual backing band, including Daniel Romano from Attack In Black, who played guitar and singing backup vocals.

Every song played, whether it be by himself or with the band, sounded great and really proved why Dallas Green has become so popular over a short time.

Green also gave us a taste of new songs and invited back onstage Tegan & Sara to debuted his song, to be released in September, “At The Bird’s Foot,” written especially to help the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite an overwhelming crowd, Green was able to capture the audience with every song, brushing off any distractions, such as “My name’s John!” during the sombre “Body In a Box” line, “Johnny lived a good life you’ll hear them say.”

A huge surprise to everyone came during the final song of the encore when, Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip and guest vocalist on the song “Sleeping Sickness,” came out onstage to join Green. As any true Canadian crowd would do, the place exploded at the sight of the duo playing what I think is the best song off Green’s second album, “Bring Me Your Love.”

Overall, the concert was a huge success. Regardless of the rowdy crowd, both Tegan & Sara and Dallas Green showed why they are on top of the Canadian music scene right now and provided a great way to end the summer.

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