City and Colour kicked of their 14 city cross-Canada tour presented by Live Nation in Victoria in front of more than 4000 people at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Friday night.
Dallas Green has gone all out in terms of production for this arena tour performing on stage with stunning lighting rig that includes five rings of lights placed above each person in the band amongst an array of lights surrounding the stage. The rings would lower and lift and change angles depending on the song.
With this tour promoting the band’s sixth album ‘A Pill for Lonliness’, City and Colour opened their set with two songs from the album ‘Astronaut’ and the first single ‘Strangers’. Three more from the album would be performed in the 21-song set.
With much of the set having a mellow mood, much of the audience on the floor seats chose to sit, but there were pockets of people that stood up. In a lighter moment before performing ‘Little Hell,’ Green told the audience, “This song is about a sh**ty situation.” He then realize there was a baby in the first couple rows and that he was swearing in front of a baby, to which he joked, “Can’t hear… headphones. We’re good.”
The encore was five songs with Dallas Green performing the first two solo and acoustic. The concert ended with Sleeping Sickness, a song that Green originally recorded with The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie. Green had the crowd sing Downie’s verse of the song.
On a personal note, this show was a tough one for us in the local media community in Victoria. Just hours before the show, news broke that our photographer/journalist friend and colleague, Keri Coles, passed away after a six month battle with cancer. One of City and Colour’s most notable Victoria moments involved Keri’s daughter Ella. In 2013 Green brought Ella on stage at Rock The Shores during their performance of ‘Thirst.’ Hearing that song and first encore song ‘Body in a Box’ weighed heavy in a set sprinkled with melancholy tracks.
Opening the evening was BC singer-songwriter Ben Rogers who is signed to Dallas Green’s record label Still Records and British singer-songwriter Jacob Banks. I was unfortunately unable to arrive in time for their either of their sets.
3. Fragile Bird
4. If I Should Go Before YOu
5. Northern Blues
6. Two Coins
8. Sensible Heart
9. Little Hell
10. Northern Wind
11. Mountain of Madness
13. Lover Come Back
14. Difficult Love
16. As Much As I Ever Could
— Encore —
17. Body in a Box
18. The Girl
19. Living in Lightning
20. We Found Each Other in The Dark
21. Sleeping Sickness