Music serves more than just a purpose for our ears; it is the soundtrack to our memories. There are some bands I consistently listen to not because they’re all that new or current, but because they remind me of the ability music has to create a timeline of events, feelings, friendships, and more in our lives. Dashboard Confessional, and more specifically Chris Carrabba, made up a good portion of the soundtrack to my high school days. Upon the announcement of his current tour, I was excited to find that the closest city he would be playing was Pittsburgh on Saturday, November 19th. This meant another road trip! So off we were to Pittsburgh, PA on what was one of the prettiest Autumn days for traveling, headed to one of the most interesting venues I’ve ever been to, Mr. Small’s Theatre, which was once a massive old church now converted into a music venue.
The only other time I had the opportunity to see Dashboard was back in 2006 in Michigan during a tour with Brand New (if only they decided to repeat that tour… would have been really nostalgic) but this time around he was playing strictly acoustic, with opening solo act Jarrod Gorbel, of The Honorary Title. Gorbel played songs from THT, as well as “Miserable Without You” and an impressive cover of “Lights” by Ellie Goulding. Gorbel dazzles with quick wit and interjects a mini-comedy routine into his set, while engaging the crowd & making it feel as if he’s playing a show just for you.
Upon Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional taking the stage, we were treated to solo acoustics of timeless songs such as “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most,” “As Lovers Go”, “Screaming Infidelities,” “Rapid Hope Loss,” as well as some new songs, one in particular “What’s Done is Done” that was played near the end of the set & brought lots of crowd excitement for new DC material. “Hands Down” and “Vindicated” (which was featured in the Spiderman 2 movie) were my top two songs of the night for two reasons, the first simply being that these have always been my favorite Dashboard Confessional songs, the second being that these songs turned into an entire venue singalong. And while most venues have awesome acoustics, the acoustics inside an old church are unreal. As Carrabba alternated his own singing between the crowd singing, there was a personal feeling between Carrabba and the crowd I’ve only ever experienced at Dashboard shows. Mid-set Carrabba announced that “we’re seconds away from the time of our life,” but if you’ve ever attended a DC show you’ve already realized this the second you step foot in the venue.
Dashboard Confessional has given us amazing, thought provoking, soulful, inspiring music for over a decade. His most recent album, Alter The Ending, was released in 2009, but based on the handful of new songs played at this show I know we’ll be treated to new music from Carrabba and DC very soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out this tour, there are still dates left!