Written by Samuel Barker
Sep 16, 2003 at 08:00 PM
Dashboard!Regardless of your feelings about Chris Carrabba and his band, Dashboard Confessional, you cannot help but be left in awe after witnessing a horde of young kids singing entire verses as Carrabba stands on stage like a ringmaster taking it all in.Of course, there is plenty that leaves the older, more experienced music fan looking for the cause of all the hype that follows Carrabba. When he first started out with Dashboard Confessional, it was more or less a name to use while touring with his solo acoustic songs of teenage romance and angst. Something to give his songs more life than being played by “the guy from Further Seems Forever.”

It has worked really well. Most of the adolescents in the audience would have no idea who Further Seems Forever was, but could write out the entire lyric sheet of the set from memory. Even on the new songs, the majority of the audience sang the lyrics back to Carrabba as he sang the words to them.

The rabid fan base for Dashboard Confessional was in full effect on this night. It did not get more obvious than when a young fan, hysterically crying came to recruit my assistance in meeting the band, since I am a “press guy.”

I watched, in horror, as this young woman poured out her heart about how she wanted to just touch the band. Luckily, two other Confessional fans, who are fundamentally more emotionally charged than your normal person, provided salvation to myself with the simple words of “Do you need a hug?” to the young lady standing before me. Escape was quick and clean.

For the set, Carrabba did his thing. He mixed in new songs from A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar and old favorites like Screaming Infidelities. While the newer songs brought the singing to a lower volume, the insanely loud sing alongs on the older songs were mind-blowing.

Opening up the show was a nice spectrum of pop punk up and comers and figureheads.

MXPXMXPX, being the eldest band on this tour, finally began the true promotional part of their tour as their new album, Before Everything and After finally hit store shelves.

Having played an in-store at a local record shop before the show, MXPX did not seem to come with the flair a band that just released a record usually has.

As sad as it was, money spent on the new album would have been better spent than on the live performance. Being the final opener, you’d expect MXPX to play a set as long, if not longer than fellow opener Brand New, but MXPX came out with the same set they played on the Honda Civic Tour and blew through 10 songs in just under 30 minutes.

Just as fans got into the set and others got bored, MXPX shut it down. Anyone who ran to the restroom during this set more than likely missed it.

Brand New opened it all up. These guys were actually fun to watch, which is rare from the first band on these current tours.

Brand New actually rocked out. Adding some nice guitar work that was reminiscent of Sparta, Brand New got the audience in a frenzy and had a few young female fans of their own in tears. Not too bad for the opening band.