Dashboard Confessional closed their fifth and final night at Nashville’s Basement East on Tuesday (Feb. 28) to a sold-out crowd. The packed room had longtime fans singing along word for word throughout the band’s lengthy catalog that spanned back to 2000’s The Swiss Army Romance.
The band’s residency was a homecoming for the musicians and the evening struck a chord with frontman Chris Carrabba, who remarked that he loved being able to drive to work every day. “It’s weird to be able to drive to work,” he admitted mid-set. “This week has been the best week of my entire life.”
Some famous fans in attendance agreed, as Kacey Musgraves and Paramore’s Hayley Williams posted videos of themselves singing along throughout the night. As Musgraves noted, Dashboard were “making my dreams come true tonight.”
Carrabba & Co. kicked off their set shortly after 10 p.m. with “Vindicated” and as the first guitar lick was played the venue erupted into screams. While the audience sang along, Carrabba wasn’t convinced they were fully into the show.
“Stop acting like you’re in L.A. and put your hands up,” he commanded.
The audience more than obliged and the Basement East quickly turned into a sweaty rock club as Dashboard fired through their set. While many of the songs played were well over a decade old, you’d never know it based on the audience’s reaction. Hands were in the air and voices were at an all time high screaming along.
Several songs into the set Carrabba asked if the crowd liked love songs. “You wanna sing a love song?” he asked before slowing down the performance for fan favorite “Stolen.”
“We live here too,” Carrabba later said. “It’s nice to be home with you guys. This is the last of a six-night stint and I really don’t want it to end.”
— Dashboard Confessional (@dashboardmusic) March 2, 2017
Throughout the band’s 90-minute set, they peppered in some new music. One song was the striking “We Fight,” which urges the listener to make his voice heard among those who frequently try to shut him down. “Somewhere there’s a kid who needs to hear this,” Carrabba sang alongside soaring guitar accompaniment.
“I never really fit in anywhere,” Carrabba prefaced the song, adding that finding music helped him feel included. “The thing that I’ve always loved about this music scene is that when I look around at a show, everyone is represented. There are people of every race and who practice every religion . . . we all seem to get along in here.”
He then urged concertgoers to bring that acceptance outside of the club and into our everyday lives. It’s a statement we can all get behind. Following the performance of “We Fight,” Carrabba closed the wall between performer and audience once again as his band left the stage and he was alone with his voice and his acoustic guitar. His three-song solo set included “The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most,” “Ghost of a Good Thing” and “The Swiss Army Romance.”
The night was far from over and when the band rejoined Carrabba on the stage they kicked the energy right back up where they left off. Highlights included the impassioned “Screaming Infidelities” and set closer “Hands Down.” Not quite ready to leave, as the song came to an end Carrabba asked the crowd if they had “a little more” for another sing along of the chorus. They did and the night ended in an epic sing along.
“See you soon,” he promised his Nashville neighbors. “If you see me on the road stop and say hi. I like people.”