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Dashboard Confessional Strips Down the Emo

ATLANTA: Crowds are "Thick as Thieves" for solo sets from emo torchbearer Chris Carrabba and Say Anything's Max Bemis.

The emo train stopped in Atlanta last night (Oct. 2) for alarge-yet-intimate show at Midtown’s Center Stage where DashboardConfessional indulged a near-capacity crowd with a mostly soloperformance featuring material from singer Chris Carrabba’s earlierDashboard days.

After an opening set from similarly-minded, full-band toting John Ralston, Say Anythingfrontman Max Bemis treated the crowd to a contrasting acoustic set thatincluded new SA single “Baby Girl I’m a Blur” and other songs fromtheir forthcoming LP, In Defense of the Genre.Perched on a stool with only an acoustic guitar in hand, Bemis mixed inolder fan favorites like the acoustic romance “I Want to Know YourPlans” and rebellion anthems “Belt” and “Woe” which translated oddlywell to the one-man stripped-down approach.

The stool wastossed aside, though, for Dashboard Confessional’s hour-and-a-halfheadlining set as a solo, denim-clad Carrabba opened with a pair ofsongs from his 2001 acoustic breakthrough The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.Strewn with witty stage banter and story telling, which includedgentile goading to “Know why you like what you like,” the set incitedDashboard’s trademark campfire-style audience sing-alongs and evenincluded a cover of Weezer classic “El Scorcho,” in support of thetour-only covers disc, The Wire Tapes.

Long-timeDashboard guitarist John Lefler chimed in on new tunes such as “Thickas Thieves” and “Where’s There’s Gold,” both featured on DC’s latestLP, The Shade of Poison Trees, but the resident emo poster boyreturned solo once more for a two-song encore of fan-favorite “TheSwiss Army Romance,” mixed with a little of Say Anything’s “Wow I CanGet Sexual Too.” The show ended with “Hands Down” as the crowd’s ownchanting faded out into night.
We asked: The solo tour and new album are a return to formfor Chris Carrabba and Dashboard Confessional. How do you prefer yourDashboard — acoustic emo crooner or full-on rock band?