Live Review: Dashboard Confessional, Far Away Stables

14 September 2017 | 3:49 pm | Donald Finlayson

"Melbourne has always been good to me, you guys can really sing! And the girls, well..."

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Well suited for an audience of misanthropes and hopeless romantics, Far Away Stables bring a sound that blends progressive rock, metalcore and emo into one tight package. With chugging guitars that recall alternative metal acts such as Tool and Periphery, the band lay down the masonry for vocalist Brendan Sheargold to wail and scream over. While much more confrontational than their headlining friends, the audience is receptive to a little vinegar before their honey.

Originally a solo acoustic project for frontman Chris Carrabba's friends and family to enjoy, Dashboard Confessional come to Forum Theatre tonight as a rocking four-piece band with no intention of ever slowing down. "This one is about a girl, from, uh, Melbourne, Australia," jokes Carrabba before the crowd erupts into laughter and cheers. Displaying his prowess of acoustic-pop and anthemic emo, Carrabba's aching tenor is in fine form this evening as he continues to nail the howls and screams that often form the climax of his most intimate works.    

Singing along and loving every minute of it, the passion of the crowd in here tonight is a clear reminder of how powerful an honest ballad can be. While Carrabba's lyrics are certainly simple and straight to the point, as the crowd screams every word to the 2001 mega-hit Hands Down we're reminded that often honesty truly is the best policy. Playing a mix of hits from his lonely acoustic days to the more rocking band era of the early '00s, there's something here for Dashboard Confessional fans of all ages.

Carrabba informs the crowd that their back-up singing may be featured on the band's upcoming album hence expressing a wish for everyone in attendance to become a part of his music forever. Obviously, the room explodes with audible anticipation that ranges from high-pitched squeals to deep roars. With the last album from Dashboard Confessional released in 2009, the band treat the crowd to two new songs from their upcoming release that distinctly recall their mid-'00s era on A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar.    

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"Melbourne has always been good to me, you guys can really sing! And the girls, well…" Always a ladies' man, Carrabba launches into the heartfelt relationship song Screaming Infidelities. With the theatre packed full of adoring fans, you've got to wonder how badly Carrabba's exes must regret breaking up with the guy. But, then again, these timeless songs wouldn't exist if they hadn't.