A Dashboard Confessional Review

Christie McMenamin

On March 29th Dashboard Confessional was seen live at Brooklyn Steel in New York. A great photographer and writer Christie Mcmenamin give us some words on the success of the group below.

In the beginning, there was one person and one instrument. A man named Chris
Carrabba wielded an acoustic guitar and managed to permeate the punk and emo
scenes with his raw, lyrical candor. There were EPs, there were LPs. The second of
those, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, scored Carrabba an MTV hit with
the track “Screaming Infidelities.” And from there, his career exploded into full-
fledged fame.

Dashboard Confessional later expanded. On Carrabba’s third LP, A Mark, A Mission, A
Brand, A Scar, a full band was added, each instrument joining together to fill out his
signature sound. The unparalleled strength of his voice was further heightened with
this new musical intensity. Carrabba sings with such remarkable power and
abandon, a hybrid of passion and fury that’s unmatched in his peers. He manages to
hold notes for astonishingly long moments and can sing about love in hushed,
delicate tones in the same breath as he can betrayal, unleashing the full force of his
voice into an evocative wail. Simply put, Carrabba makes you feel, and he does so
with a seeming effortlessness that enthusiastically resonates with his listeners. As
Dashboard Confessional hasn’t stopped releasing records since their inception,
Carrabba’s begun a veritable collection of fans, hoarding more and more of them
with each successive release. His audience has now become intergenerational, and
with Dashboard’s latest release, Crooked Shadows, it’s sure to speak to a new crop of
teenagers while still delighting the fans who have been there since the beginning.

Embarking on a tour of comparatively smaller venues to promote Crooked Shadows,
those who were lucky enough to score tickets to the sold-out show in New York
piled into a packed Brooklyn Steel on March 29th. Fans rushed into the venue in
swarms, making a fervent beeline to the floor in order to be as close to the stage as possible.

Carrabba walked out in his truest form, alone with his acoustic guitar. He asked if he
could “play a deep cut,” to which everyone cheered as he launched into “This Bitter
Pill,” the last track on the aforementioned The Places You Have Come to Fear the
Most. When that ended, the rest of the band came out as they amped it up for “Don’t
Wait,” off Dusk and Summer. The night was a family reunion. Carrabba vividly
expressed his gratitude over and over again, not only thankful to be able to play
music for a living but to his fans, who allow him to do so. They responded wildly,
their reaction signifying that the feeling was mutual.

Carrabba curated a setlist made up of songs off Crooked Shadows combined with
some of his greatest hits from years past. Saving the best for last, Carrabba ended
with three fan favorites: “Screaming Infidelities,” “Stolen,” and “Vindicated.” “Hands
Down,” of course, made up the encore, leaving the crowd on the highest, most
ecstatic note possible.

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