Singer-songwriter Dallas Green (aka City and Colour) has just released his fifth studio album, If I Should Go Before You. A roadmap of all his achievements to date, the album is the first to feature Dallas’ touring ensemble – bassist Jack Lawrence, Dante Schwebel on guitar, Doug MacGregor on drums and Matt Kelly on pedal steel guitar and keys – and the result is enormous. “Anybody who has seen us play will understand that this is the best representation of what we do live and that we have ever recorded”, he says.
A veteran on Toronto’s music scene, here Dallas takes us on a music tour of his hometown.
The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
I've seen some of my favourite bands and some seriously life-changing shows here – just as the name suggests, this place is legendary. I think you’d be hard pressed to find any music lover that lives near Toronto who hasn't been to see a band at this club at some point in their life.
Sonic Boom Records
Sonic Boom Records has a great music selection and install incredibly creative window displays to highlight new albums, just like a department store! It’s the perfect place to go if you have some time to kill. They carry new and used CDs, vinyl and movies. I've found a few hard-to-find albums there, too. They’ve started hosting small, free live events so when bands come to town you might get to see them in a tiny basement before they play a sold-out show down the road.
Sneaky Dee's is a bar and music venue on College Street and has become a bit of a local institution. It is the definition of dive bar with graffiti on literally every surface. There is a venue space upstairs and a restaurant and bar downstairs. I've been to both more times than I can remember. If you ask anyone the first thing they think of when they hear the name Sneaky Dee's it’s probably the nachos – the best in the city! We actually shot the music video for Wasted Love here.
I'm not sure quite where to start with Massey Hall. It is over 120 years old and is one of Canada’s most famous concert halls. Many legendary artists have stepped foot on the stage, including Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Band and Rush, just to name a few. I've had the chance to play there five times and every time I'm just as emotional as the first. You can feel the history in the room.
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
This is an outdoor amphitheatre right on Lake Ontario. It holds about 20,000 fans and I've been lucky enough to play here a couple of times. It's an awesome place to see bands! I can remember driving here from my hometown as a teenager and when I had the opportunity to headline for the first time it was pretty surreal.
City and Colour will be touring Australia from March to April 2016. Tickets on sale now.