SAN FRANCISCO – Dallas Green brought his full band to the Fillmore Tuesday to perform songs from his recent City and Colour album, A Pill for Loneliness.
For the Canadian Green, best known in the post-hardcore scene as a cofounder of Alexisonfire, City and Colour is something different entirely: a folk-leaning acoustic project with sadder songs.
Green opened with “Astronaut“ and “Strangers,” two cuts from his recent release. The soft rock tunes had dynamic hooks before transitioning into echoing ambient choruses. “Fragile Bird,” off 2011’s Little Hell, blended soft rock with the folky influences.
“If I Should Go Before You,” deepened the intimacy while “Northern Blues” demonstrated City and Colour’s exploration of sounds beyond folk. They led into new track “Young Lovers” and “Runaway,” from 2015’s If I Should Go Before You.
Green, who performed a show without his band the prior night across the city at the Palace of Fine Arts, performed “Sensible Heart” backed by just a keyboardist and “Little Hell” with just his own acoustic guitar. While he didn’t talk much during the show he did tell fans that “it’s OK to talk about feelings.” That served as an introduction to “Northern Wind.”
With the band back in the mix, City and Colour played ethereal A Pill for Loneliness cut “Mountain of Madness” and alt-rock cut “Lover Come Back.” Green and company played some older tracks with fresh arrangements. “Waiting…” and “As Much As I Ever Could,” off 2007’s Bring Me Your Love, were highlights. Exuberance flowed from Green’s voice.
After leaving the stage for a couple of minutes, Green returned, apologized for forgetting his harmonica, and played “Body in a Box” and “The Girl” on his acoustic guitar. The rest of the band came back onstage to support Green on the delicate “Living in Lightning,” “We Found Each Other in the Dark” and Green’s ode to life, “Sleeping Sickness.” “Someone come/ And someone come and save my life,” he sang accompanied by the audience.
Toronto singer-songwriter Ruby Waters opened the show with a mix of soul and R&B, folk and even some grunge with crunchy distortion. She began her set backed by a keyboardist and guitarist. At times she’d play guitar to a programmed beat.
The performance included “Sweet Sublime,” “Last Cigarette” and “Supernatural.” The songs were musically simple but incredibly catchy, keeping the audience involved.
Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello.