Dashboard Confessional / “We Fight” Tour – House of Blues Anaheim – 04.20.2018
Dashboard Confessional / Beach Slang / Kississippi
Anaheim, CA – 04.20.2018
Photos by Angelica Nicolle Abalos
If you were to ask anyone who was at the House of Blues in Anaheim last Friday how their night went, there’s a high chance they would say that it was “lit”. And no, it’s not just because what the date said on the calendar. The “We Fight” tour made it’s way down to Orange County, CA that weekend and every act on the lineup was a complete hit.
First up on the bill was Kississippi, an indie-pop act from Philadelphia. The crowd’s chatters were hushed as lead singer Zoe Reynolds walked into the spotlight and picked up her guitar. Her soft, mellow voice echoed into the silence as she sang. The rest of the band took the stage shortly after to join her. Each member of the band brought a unique stage presence in addition to their role in creating the aural magic they were creating. Both the bassist and guitarists owned their section of the stage, full of smiles throughout the set. Pianist, Kaylen Alan Krebsbach, exuded positive energy as she played on the keys and provided a gentle raspy voice to complement Reynolds’ singing. Kississippi’s drummer Jeremy Probst, though placed behind the others, was not left unnoticed. Their heavy-handed snares and thunderous bass pedals could felt throughout the venue. As the band weaved through each song with a clean blend of vocals and instrumentation giving an overall pop, summer rock, feel-good vibes. The ended with their single “Cut Yr Teeth”, eager to get off stage to see the next acts. Kississippi closed out their set with a bang and were met with many cheers from the crowd, leaving them in anticipation for more.
Beach Slang were the next act to follow. The volume of the crowd’s roar as the band took the stage was a huge indication of what was about to happen. The next 45 minutes of the night was full of high energy. Lead singer James Alex fed off that energy, as he controlled the stage as rowdy and flamboyant as possible, with a rockstar voice to match. After the first few songs, the frontman addressed the crowd: “You’ve been warned. I feel pretty fucking good so let’s see how this pans out.” Alex’s rockstar presence included headbanging and jumping around to their upbeat tunes, complete with pulling off crazy poses that would make any yoga master envious. Their slower tunes seemed like a brief recharging, saving up energy before they burst out into another fiasco for their next song. After a few original songs, Beach Slang transitioned into a medley of covers playing snippets of Santana‘s “Smooth”, “Sex and Candy”, “All Star” by Smash Mouth, Dramarama‘s “Anything Anything” and yes, even, Oasis‘ “Wonderwall”. According to the band, they treat their sets like Bukowski poetry readings: they don’t stop until the booze is done. On they played until Alex drank every last drop of his mixed drink and closed out with a raging rendition of “Atom Bomb”.
If it were any other show, Beach Slang would have been one tough act to follow. But that wasn’t the case considering Dashboard Confessional was the headlining band of the night. The lights dimmed as the man of the hour, Chris Carrabba, entered the stage beer in hand and arm raised up in a “cheers” to his audience. He started off with a heartfelt, acoustic rendition of “The Best Deceptions”. Both Carrabba and his audience smiled from ear to ear as they sang, the crowd’s vocals filled in when he pulled away from the mic. The energy in the room was elevated once the rest of the band entered the room. Though Carrabba’s voice showed his age being raspy and worn, it was obvious that he gave everything he had with each song. Carrabba didn’t shy away from the rawness of his performance but embraced the true intensity of the energy that pulsed through the venue. Regardless of any voice cracks or mis-strums, he always held his notes just a little bit longer than he needed to and was met with an inevitable crowd cheer every time. The crowd participation along with the intimate relationship Chris provided made the sold-out venue seem like one huge campfire singalong. Each member of the audience could feel his genuine thankfulness as he looked around the room in awe. Taking a moment for himself, he shares, “I’m so lucky to be with you and I want to enjoy it for a second.” There was a true connection between artist and audience that night, and what a way to close out their second to last night of the tour. After a rather emotional night, the crowd at the House of Blues in Anaheim surely left with full hearts and lifted spirits.