“We want so badly to remember what we are doing…

… that we forget to experience life while it’s going on all around us.” – Dallas Green, 25.04.11.

If there has ever been a more meaningful plea for people to put their dodgy phone cameras away and just listen to a musician work magic, I’ve yet to hear it.

I’ve just arrived home from an unforgettable concert; City and Colour at the Royal Albert Hall. Dallas Green, the voice behind the name, was obviously affected by the majesty of the venue, and rose to the occasion admirably.

Dallas Green, a plain-looking guy with one of the best voices I've ever heard. Photo: djewell11, Flickr.

I had high hopes, and wasn’t disappointed. At first, as he reworked some of his older songs with a heavier, grungier, full-band sound, I wasn’t convinced, but after a solo acoustic section I started to properly appreciate the range Dallas now brings to his material.

At one point, he explained he was going to play one of the first songs he’d ever written. Aged 17, he showed it to his mum: “Just to say, ‘hey, I’m trying to write stuff now.’ I just hoped that maybe someone could listen to it. I never imagined it would be all of you.”

The shining highlight, though, had to be Happiness by the Kilowatt. It’s a re-imagining of the version Dallas penned for the hardcore band he’s a part of, Alexisonfire. Apparently he only plays it rarely, and if anything, it was even more heartfelt than the version below.

It refers to the short story “The Euphio Question”, which cuts to the heart of what happiness is and how we seek it in modern society. Mainly, though, the song just blows my mind. In a show of songs that seemed to get better and better, Body in a Box, Oh Sister, Sleeping Sickness, Coming Home and Sometimes I Wish/Because The Night were the standouts. Bravo, Dallas. I will remember tonight for the rest of my life.

Categories: music, Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on ““We want so badly to remember what we are doing…

  1. Basma

    Hi David,

    I stumbled upon your blog from browsing research blogs. So far, I’m enjoying your work a great deal. I’m beginning to toy with the foundation for my own blog and am looking for format ideas, etc. Keep up your photography–awesome stuff.
    I’m about to start a PhD this coming fall and communicating science (becoming a better communicator) is one of those skills I’m hoping to build and grow while doing.

    Your brief description of how you were moved Dallas Green’s live performance reminds me of how I felt after a much smaller show in 2010. It was a show I almost didn’t go to, in fact; but the itch for live music was too strong to push aside. I went solo (sad but true) to see Clem Snide perform live with the Chris Otepka (from Heligoats) at a small bar/music space in the quaint, yuppie-yet-hipster town of Amherst, Massachusetts. The space was unique and the show was phenomenal, intimate and grossly under attended–one I’ll never forget.

    Good luck in your studies! I look forward to following your blog.


    • Thanks Basma! I was solo at Dallas Green – nothing wrong with going solo to a gig I think, sure it can get a little boring in the breaks (I took a book… reading philosophy in the Royal Albert Hall, not too bad) but it’s better to get out there and enjoy it than sit at home because no-one else wants to go.

      Be sure to drop a link if/when you get your blog off the ground. The more scientists out there who take an interest in sharing their work, the better – especially working scientists who are doing the hard yards (PhDs etc)!

  2. dan

    this was the third time i have seen dallas play, and by far the best performance in my opinion and in this post you have captured each occasion where he almost had me in tears at what he was saying before he played body in a box, like knives and happiness by the killowatt, out of these three it was the first time i have heard him play like knives and happiness live, i swear i must have stared at the piano from my box through the whole set thinking to myself he has to play it during the encore even though i knew the effect it was going to have on me, i still managed to fight back the tears

    “We want so badly to remember what we are doing…
    … that we forget to experience life while it’s going on all around us.”

    i think this has to be the most heart breaking, yet beautiful philosophy i have heard yet and its going to stay with me for the rest of my life,

    iv been seaching all day for this, i just wanted to say thank you for posting it, and hope you enjoyed the show as much as i did


    • I think I did dan! I was struggling to hold it together for those three moments and Oh Sister as well. Magic. For some reason I’d not really noticed the piano there so it took me by surprise, crazy chills down my spine when the lights came up on it.

  3. Warm

    Good piece, I was there too and wrote a strangely similar article, even using the same quote. Have a look!


    Keep it up! x

  4. Basma

    Hi David, Dan, and L-warm:

    Watching this cover the week before the show solidified my decision to go to the Clem Snide show. Thought you all might enjoy it too:


  5. Basma

    the link disappeared, so here’s the video again….


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