Dashboard Confessional w/ Beach Slang and Kissippi
Showbox, Seattle, WA

Maybe it’s not 2006 anymore. Maybe the world’s collective emo phase has been (mostly) left behind. But Dashboard Confessional is still going strong. With sad love songs and an acoustic guitar, singer-songwriter Christopher Carrabba was ready to give Seattle a little blast from the past for a night.

After Kissippi opened the night with some perfect indie-emo music, Beach Slang took the stage to really swing things into action. Their music leans more punk than DC or Kissippi, but even if that’s a little too heavy for you, these guys still have a very enjoyable performance. Fully dressed up in a suit and bowtie, lead singer James Alex was anything but the calm and carefully composed persona his attire may have suggested. The band’s music is so fun, backed by a performance of Alex leaning back, spraying his drink in the air, and bouncing all over the stage.

As Carrabba first came on stage for the opening of his set, there was that initial push forward from his excited fans in the crowd, but the interesting thing was how quickly it all settled down. The energy and excitement were still there, but everyone calmly regained their personal space and was ready to enjoy an emotional performance—and opening with “Best Deceptions” was a perfect way to set that tone.

Adding quirky anecdotes about his past or his best friends between songs, the night felt more like a living room performance than a full Showbox concert, a mood hard to achieve for most bands.

Nearly every song Carrabba played holds a dramatic past for its listeners, which they validated with enthusiastic cheers, but “Stolen” and “Vindicated” clearly held special places in their hearts. And the performance of each was everything they could have been. With parts where Carrabba simply stepped back to let the crowd scream his lyrics, it honestly seems as if those tracks have found a home in his live show.

Christopher Carrabba is still releasing music under the Dashboard Confessional title. It’s still heartbreaking and sad. And it’s still, for the most part, got that 2006 feel that launched him into a bit of fame. But regardless of how much his sound has or hasn’t changed over the years, that live show is one that clearly took years to figure out, and definitely benefitted from the growth.

Review and photos by Lulu Dawson

Dashboard Confessional

Beach Slang