Dashboard Confessional play The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most @ Capitol
w/ Shangrila
Tuesday, December 11, 2018


This was a plum gig for locals Shangrila, who have shed their hardcore sound for something a lot more melodic. The early timeslot was difficult for punters to navigate, but those that made the effort were treated to the pop/punk sound from their new EP Love and Leaving. The notions of love and leaving made Shangrila a great fit for the show. 

One of the flagship artists of the emo movement, Dashboard Confessional returned for their first  show as a headliner in Perth since 2006. Despite the years Chris Carrabba hasn’t aged one bit. The fresh faced singer has added a beard and a slightly more severe cut of his signature hairstyle, but other than that, he has been preserved in time. Showing their A-list status from the outset, Dashboard Confessional kicked of with Vindicated, which appeared on the Spiderman 2 soundtrack and cemented the band as chart toppers at the time. Carrabba’s battered and bruised telecaster was sent into overdrive as the band muscled through The Sharp Hint Of New Tears and Don’t Wait. 

The big drawcard of the evening was that Dashboard Confessional would be playing their breakthrough album The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most in full. It is a record that was released when a sizeable section of the crowd were still in primary school, but such is the universal appeal of the record, it is still held in high regard 16 years post its release. 

Carrabba dispensed with his bandmates for The Brilliant Dance, delivered with just an acoustic guitar, the front man’s vocals, and the voice of a crowd singing along in unison. It is a surreal display to see a musician treated like a preacher as the crowd hung off every word and mimicked his soul-bearing passion. Screaming Infidelities continued on the theme as a group of young men sang along with such diligence, that they may still have never recovered from their first heartbreak. There may have been very little hand holding or crying, but the emotion in the crowd was palpable. 

The band returned for a punchy The Best Deceptions, with its extended outro so Carrabba could ensure the the front few rows could continue the coda for an extra few bars. The rest of the album was delivered faithfully with Saints and Sailors delivered crisply and The Places That You Have Come To Fear The Most being greeted with a slew of mobile phones set to record. Playing the album in full, reminded all of Dashboard Confessional at their most pure, before they were invited to do an MTV Unplugged session and saw the bigger recording budgets being assigned to their following records. 

While the gig may have been moved to a smaller venue than was originally billed, Carrabba was in a chipper mood and effortlessly bonded with the crowd. There is a genuineness about the way that he conversed with a crowd, and when he started to play Carry This Picture For Luck, and was greeted with emphatic cheers, his retort of “I’m excited too” appeared natural and honest. 

The impromptu acoustic set that took requests from the floor, unfurled old favourites like Swiss Army Romance and So Impossible, a cover of Cory Branan’s Skateland South and a new song that Carrabba confessed he was still refining – he even asked if people would refrain from taking photos of the lyrics or he would be stuck with them forever. 

Drummer Chris Kamrada showed off his hard hitting style as he was reintroduced with the rest of the band for Remember To Breathe, which morphed into a cheeky version of Amy Shark’s Adore. The only song to be played from the band’s current record was the bright stadium rock number of We Fight. After wringing out the crowd with tales of heartbreak, Stolen was a timely slice of romantic cheese to heal the wounds, with Hands Down closing the night in resounding fashion. 

It was a show that was at its most potent when it was just Carrabba, his guitar and room full of people in his pocket, but whether you came out of curiosity or catharsis this was one to be remembered. 


Photos by Linda Dunjey