DALLAS GREEN with RAISING THE FAWN at Lee's Palace, January 29. Tickets: $10. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NN Rating: NN
My only question is why? Why would Dallas Green - better known as the guitarist from Alexisonfire - need to start a solo project? Think about it. His band sold a ton of records last year, toured the world and did it all without the help of a major or any support from commercial radio.
You'd think Green might wanna take some time off, write some more screamo anthems and gear up for the next Alexis onslaught. Heck, he deserves it.
So why, Dallas, why? Is it for fun? Couldn't be. Not after watching last Saturday's hour-plus set at Lee's anyway.
OK, while Dashboard and Bright Eyes have made acousto-rock de rigueur for the tattooed masses, that doesn't mean that just anybody, even if he does play in a really popular band, can pick up an acoustic guitar, step onstage and expect to pull it off.
Maybe Green's motives for the solo gig have less to do with fun than with vanity.
Eyes closed, mouth agape and head rocking back and forth for maximum emo hair effect, Green often relied on slow, repetitive, two-chord cycles and lyrics like "I feel so lonely sleeping without you." To call it self-indulgent is an understatement. And while there's no doubting Green has a nice voice and some impressive chops on the guitar, none of his material connected.
Irked by the deafening hum of chitchat that was his only accompaniment for most of the set, Green asked the crowd, "So how's everyone's conversation going?" In fact, he seemed a little on edge. Hey, Dallas, expecting 500 20-year-olds to sit still for an hour is a little too much to ask - especially at 12:30 on a Saturday night in a packed club.
He could have brought up Alexis screamer George Pettit to help out, but Pettit was too busy denying fans autographs and making frequent trips to the bar.
Perhaps sensing the lack of vibe, Green kicked into campfire mode and delivered half a Skid Row cover and a smidgeon of Lionel Ritchie. At least he got some laffs.
Wisely, he finished the set with his pals from openers Raising the Fawn , which at least pumped up Green's tunes with some much needed volume.
Oddly, RTF guitarist John Crossingham walked onstage and played the last two songs dressed in pyjamas. Maybe he was alluding to the snoozefest we'd all just witnessed.