Every time I talk about how much I love Dallas Green from City and Colour–his hair, his glasses, his soothing voice, his passion for music, the way his lyrics speak to me–I’m told, “Dallas Green is an asshole.” I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful man, but one time I came close.
I was walking down Queen Street West, right near MuchMusic, in Toronto. I was with an old friend and we were talking about relationships. Naturally, as a huge Green fan and also a female, I am not exactly thrilled that he is married to former MuchMusic VJ Leah Miller. I may have made an unnecessary comment about Miller in an attempt to make my friend laugh about relationships instead of feel stressed by them, when I looked to my left and saw not only her but also Green himself walking by me, giving me cut eye. I deserved that one. And to this day, I regret it.
I guess if Green and Miller, who call themselves “a Canadian weak couple,” are happy as can be, then I should be happy too. It’s just the fangirl in me that wants Green all to myself (like that would ever happen).
I’ve been to endless City and Colour concerts, my favourites being at the historic Toronto venue Massey Hall, where I’ve seen Green sing beautiful lyrics, test out new songs and tell fans to put their phones away for just one song and appreciate the art.
I have also seen Green as grouch on three occasions that I’ve yet to forget.
Green at The (Free) Juno Block Party Telling Off an Audience Member:
I was standing to the right of where the above video was taken. Laughing, of course, that Green had literally shunned one of his fans for being disrespectful and fighting at a free concert a few days before Toronto hosted the Juno Awards in 2011. I was proud to be a City and Colour fan with this Green as grouch experience, because he made a point to not only perform well but also ensure his audience was enjoying the show, too.
Hats off to you, sir!
Green says, “I’m trying to run a business here. No encore:”
The night before Green’s album, Little Hell, was released, my girlfriends and I trekked down to Toronto’s Sugar Beach to see City and Colour perform live at The Edge Studios. On this beautiful June evening, I attempted to meet Green again, but a comment he made during his free concert stung me a little too deep.
Towards the end of his performance, Green said he wouldn’t be doing an encore because he wasn’t getting paid to do the show and was trying to run a business. I understand that time is money, but mostly everyone who came out to that free party was going to either purchase his album the next day or find other ways to support him by attending paid shows, buying merchandise and spreading new City and Colour music on social media, encouraging others to listen, buy and support.
Would an encore have really been that detrimental? I remember crossing my fingers thinking, “Maybe he’s lying and will come back out to sing Against the Grain or Coming Home.” Negative. That did not happen (I do give Green credit, though, because he has surprised me with several renditions of Coming Home, my favourite song, at other shows, each meaning more to me than I thought possible).
I forgave the singer/songwriter quickly because I understand that as much as music might be Green’s passion, he also has to make smart business decisions. Sometimes, though, I think my wound is still healing.
I remember standing at Sugar Beach for over an hour after the free show, waiting anxiously for the strong-minded musician to emerge from backstage and greet his fans. My friends and I asked the security guards at the event whether Green had left. They laughed and said, “Yes.” Then we tried to get a copy of the set list but the security guards denied our wish and ended up giving the sheet of paper with a handful of songs handwritten on one side to a group of girls who copied their outfits from Tumblr.
Before we could lose any more hope, the drummer performing that night made an appearance. We got a photo quickly and left brokenhearted, for Green had not come out to say hello. Once we got into the car and made our way home, I received a text message from a classmate who was also at the concert saying Green had finally come out to meet his fans.
Just my luck.
Green at Maple Leaf Square Before Toronto Played First NHL Playoff Game, 2013:
CBC kicked off Hockey Night In Canada‘s broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first playoff game since I was in elementary school with a live streaming of City and Colour performing again for free at Maple Leaf Square, just outside of the Air Canada Centre.
The vibe out in the Square was beautiful: Everyone was excited for the hockey game, people from as young as a month old were representing their Leafs with merchandise and most were interested to hear what Green had in store.
The show, which was under 20-minutes, sounded beautiful. I loved that Green opened with As Much as I Ever Could from album Bring Me Your Love. My friend and I, though leaving after the performance, were proud City and Colour supporters who sang along and cheered for our favourite artist.
At the end of the concert, though, Green shouted an unenthusiastic, “Go Leafs Go,” and walked off the stage without even a thank you.
Am I being too judgmental? Probably, but even though I’ve been left a little stung, I still went out to buy my copy of The Hurry and the Harm, City and Colour’s new album. I’m extremely impressed by this 2013 release and have to say it is almost better than Bring Me Your Love and has come close to making me love it more than Sometimes.
Why I Still Love Him:
- Everyone has bad days. Maybe Green just gets ticked off easily when irritating fans cause a scene at his shows for no reason or when he has to take a few hours out of his day to perform without getting paid. No one likes working for free, even if it means wonders for your future career
- His music doesn’t suck. Ever. Whether it’s on a CD or live. Green can write music. Green can sing songs. Green is a great musician
- Green’s music is relatable and speaks to the heart. His songs aren’t cheesy, even when they’re about love
- He’s handsome…
- I remember the first time I heard a song by City and Colour. I was in grade 12 and was encouraged to listen to Missing. From that point forward, anytime I listen to this iconic Canadian band, I’m taken back to that moment of pure bliss: When I fell in love with Mr. Dallas Green.
Who’s your favourite artist? Why?