Some may already be tired of hearing the term “Emo revival,” but Dashboard Confessional’s sold out show at Brooklyn Steel on Thursday, March 29, 2018 justified that whatever you want to call this upsurge of reunited bands from the early 2000s, it is real, and remains in full swing. In fact, judging by the massive turn out for the We Fight Tour to celebrate 2018’s Crooked Shadows, Dashboard Confessional’s first album in 9 years, and despite the band’s 4 year hiatus, they have never left the hearts of their devoted fanbase. To help get the party going, Dashboard Confessional brought along two Philadelphia-based bands just coming into their prime: Kississippi and Beach Slang.
For those a little behind on the news, the We Fight Tour kicked off on March 20th in Houston, Texas and has been working its way up the East Coast before rolling into New York City’s busy borough of Brooklyn, bringing with it a wild night of Rock, both old and new. As alluded to, it has been quite awhile since Dashboard Confessional has embarked on a U.S. tour focusing on new material. Though the band formed in 1999 and found major success in the early 2000s when “Emo” and Alternative Rock were in their prime. Fans latched onto Vocalist Chris Carrabba’s unique, recognizable voice and gut-wrenching lyrics, creating a range of songs that cut right to the core with their purity of emotion. Releasing 6 studio albums between 2000-2009, Dashboard Confessional created a legacy of music that any band could be proud of, whether you want to call it Emo or not.
They remained inactive for several years, but after embarking on a tour with All-American Rejects in the summer of 2017, the band revealed that they would be working on new music to be released in 2018. That album, the aforementioned Crooked Shadows, and its lead single “We Fight,” received great reviews from critics and fans, proving that Dashboard Confessional are right back where they belong – maybe they never left.
Though the 1,800 capacity Brooklyn Steel was sold out, fans only just started pouring into the venue when Kississippi took the stage to begin the night. Anyone who decided to show up last missed out on an amazing set from a band who is sure to light the scene on fire with their pure, genuine sound. It was refreshing to see a band like Dashboard Confessional bringing out a band like Kississippi. Many of the band’s members identify as queer and/or non-binary, and while that should not be so revolutionary in 2018, it still feels that way to see queer/non-cis male bands on a stage as big as Brooklyn Steel’s.
This exciting new Indie Pop band have not been on the scene for long, but they have already garnered quite an impressive fanbase with the release of several demos and EPs including 2015’s We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed. Vocalist Zoe Allaire Reynolds first took the stage alone for the first song before being joined by Adam DaSilva, Jeremy Probst, Allegra Eidinger, and Kaylen Alan Krebsbach for an incredible full-band set featuring tracks like “Indigo,” “Cut Yr Teeth,” and “Easier to Love,” a track released only a few weeks prior in anticipation of an LP release coming soon. The band seemed to win over those who deigned to show up early enough with their chill vibes and infectious positive energy, and there is no doubt that you will be hearing more about Kississippi soon.
While Kississippi may have started the night off with some more relaxed, endearing tunes, Beach Slang took the stage like a tornado and tore it up with their explosive energy and sweet sampling of 90s covers. Another Philadelphia-based band, Beach Slang brought their hazy brand of whiskey-soaked Punk/Indie to the stage to wow the crowd with a few covers, and of course some offerings from their excellent catalog, including their latest album, 2016’s A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings.
Vocalist/Guitarist James Alex, Guitarist Aurore Ounjian, Bassist Tierney Tough, and Drummer Dan Crotts blasted out fuzzy Rock hits “Noisy Heaven,” “Punks in a Disco Bar,” and “Bad Art and Weirdo Ideas,” getting the crowd amped up as Alex bounced around the stage and performed some impressive theatrics with his guitar. The band kept that momentum going with “Dirty Cigarettes” and “Spin the Dial,” slowly winning over an uninterested crowd.
If you have ever been to a Beach Slang show or checked out any of our previous coverage, then you will know that you cannot have a Beach Slang show without at least a few covers in the mix. Alex mentioned that he wanted to “burgle into your hearts” with a 90s mixtape that included snippets of Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy,” Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life,” and, of course, Alex got the whole crowd singing along to “Wonderwall” by Oasis. It seems as though the band did manage to take a place in the hearts’ of the crowd, as they got a much better response when they finished their set with a full cover of Pixies “Where is My Mind?” and some originals like “Too Late to Die Young” and “Atom Bomb.” As always, Beach Slang put on an incredible set, leaving the stage sticky with alcohol and good vibes.
Finally, it was time for Dashboard Confessional to take over. At this point, the room was completely packed with people eager to hear the songs that soundtracked their teenage years. Huge cheers erupted as Carrabba took the stage alone with an acoustic guitar and asked fans if he could play a deep cut, beginning the set with “This Bitter Pill.” Then, Carrabba was joined on stage by Lead Guitarist Armon Jay, Drummer Chris Kamrada, and only remaining original member, Bassist Scott Schoenbeck, as they played through “Don’t Wait,” “The Good Fight,” and new track “Catch You.”
Fans happily sang along to these old favorites, and many were enthusiastic about the new offerings, as well, but all of that was nothing compared to fan-favorite “Saints and Sailors.” Fans held up their drinks, phones, and hands as the whole of Brooklyn Steel rang out with sing-alongs and cheers. The energy was electric as the band ran through “Remember to Breathe” and “The Sharp Hint of New Tears.”
Then Carrabba was once again alone on stage to sing “The Best Deceptions.” Even alone on stage, Carrabba had incredible stage presence, able to keep all eyes and attention on him even in a room as expansive as Brooklyn Steel. Even more impressive was his ability to hold notes that seemed to last forever, each time wowing the crowd and getting huge cheers.
Once again, he was rejoined for another endearing new track, “Heart Beat Here,” and “We Fight,” which was dedicated to the young people fighting for gun control after the shooting in Parkland. Even though the set was winding to a close, the band saved the best for last. Nearly everyone in the room shouted along to the classic “Screaming Infidelities” and the sweet “Stolen” before finishing their set with “Vindicated.” Dashboard left the stage followed by huge cheers, but of course swiftly returned to finish out the night with an amazing performance of “Hands Down,” ending the night on a ringing high note.
Fans poured out into the Brooklyn night, still singing along to “Hands Down” and discussing their favorite moments of the evening. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Dashboard Confessional are still capable of putting on an amazing set and creating music that is endearing and heartfelt. Do not miss this tour as it continues to wind its way through the U.S. until April 21st. Nostalgic or excited for something new, you certainly will not be disappointed.
04/02 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony #
04/03 – Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues #
04/04 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s #
04/05 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall #
04/06 – Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live #
04/07 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom #
04/08 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada Theatre #
04/09 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall #
04/13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre #
04/14 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox #
04/16 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades #
04/17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore #
04/18 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues #
04/20 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues #
04/21 – Hollywood, CA @ Hollywood Palladium #
# = w/ Beach Slang
Purchase Crooked Shadows:
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Purchase A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings:
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