Dallas Green, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind the City and Colour name sees his current tour as a full circle kind of moment.
Since the release of his Juno Award winning solo debut Sometimes in 2005, Green has, over the course of five studio efforts, progressively expanded his sound from intimate, acoustic-driven songs to sweeping, multi-layered efforts performed by a full band.
For his current tour, however, Green has left his faithful band behind, embarking on a 28-date tour throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, accompanied only by band mate Matt Kelly. The trek is the most in-depth of Green’s solo career, and was purposely set up to touch down in off the beaten path locations such as Saint-Casimir, Que., and Trail, B.C.
“This tour has been fantastic, as I’ve been able to play a lot of places where I haven’t previously performed,” Green says in advance of his sold out show at the Imperial Theatre on Tuesday evening.
In addition to having the opportunity to play towns and cities in which he has not previously performed, Green’s current tour is also unique in the sense that it is intimately scaled, allowing him to connect with fans in venues considerably smaller than he would usually play.
To help highlight how scaled back Green’s current tour is with his show at the Imperial and at Fredericton’s Playhouse Theatre next week, he sold out two consecutive shows at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage (formerly known as the Molson Amphitheatre) last summer, playing before approximately 16,000 each night.
For a closer to home perspective, City and Colour performed before a sold-out crowd of more than 2,000 at Moncton’s Casino New Brunswick last summer.
“The tour has brought me into a number of small theatres, but I’ve also played a microbrewery and in a church. It’s been a lot of fun. I figured that I might as well try to enjoy myself at some point,” he says, laughing.
Admittedly, Green says one of the most important aspects of his current tour has been having the option to revisit songs from his catalogue that have been inadvertently cast aside over the last number of years as he has continued releasing new music.
“I absolutely love playing with my band, but this tour has brought me full circle in a way, as this is how I first started playing – solo. It’s a bit of a novelty for me as well as the audience at this point in my career, but I am really enjoying it. I play half of the show solo, and then Matt [Kelly] joins me for the other half and helps fill out the songs with a variety of instruments like the Wurlitzer, piano, tenor guitar, and pedal steel.”
While Green has enjoyed dusting off some personal favourites from his catalogue for his current trek, his other achievements to date are indeed worthy of a mention:
The Juno Awards named him Songwriter of the Year in 2009 and 2012. His work with City & Colour, post-hardcore group Alexisonfire, and You+Me has earned him seven Platinum- and three Gold-certified albums in Canada.
City & Colour’s most recent effort, 2015’s If I Should Go Before You, was his third chart-topping album in Canada, but also made an impressive Top 20 debut in the U.S., and earned a Top 5 placement in Australia, where his 2011 album Little Hell was certified for Gold sales of 35,000 copies.
With the possibility of a live album being one of the next projects to bear the City & Colour name – Green has been recording each of the shows he has played on his current tour – he admits he is not otherwise stressing about getting back into the studio to begin making the follow-up to If I Should Go Before You.
After 15 years of being immersed in the cycle of making records and then touring behind them, one couldn’t blame Green if he simply chose to take a year off in order to contemplate his next move.
“I’ve got a few new songs kicking around, but I also don’t believe in tryng to force the material out. That was a key part in why I decided to embark on this tour.”
Asked about the possibility of maybe taking a span of time off to contemplate his next move, Green laughs.
“I don’t know how to take time off,” he says.
What: City & Colour
When: Tuesday May 2, 8 p.m.
Where: Imperial Theatre, 12 King Square South, Saint John
The show is sold out