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Dashboard Confessional at the Fillmore, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Though it has a rich recording history -- six studio albums and a selection of EPs -- Dashboard Confessional has become primarily a live act since returning five years ago from a hiatus.

The group did release a surprise EP, the “Covered And Taped” covers set, earlier this year, but Chris Carrabba -- who started Dashboard as a one-man side project to his other band, Further Seems Forever -- has been most intent on keeping the group on the road. And size matters; Earlier this year Dashboard was playing clubs, now it’s out in larger theaters. Carrabba promises that new music, Dashboard’s first since 2009, will come eventually, but he’s not strapping himself to any sort of timetable, either.

• Carrabba says that while the venues Dashboard is playing this summer are larger than the previous tour, which makes for a different kind of experience. “At a club show the crowd is right on top of you, so in the (bigger) places the way I interact with the crowd becomes different,” Carrabba, 42, says by phone from Tennessee. “The way I feel the crowd becomes different, and the feeling I get with the songs is different. All these things combine into a bit of a mysterious brew that fuels everything.”

• Yet, Carrabba adds, he’s still prone to go into the shows without a concrete setlist or game plan. “In my experience if you plan something, really plan it out meticulously, you will hate it,” he explains. “I you make a plan with generality as the focus, walk out there with more chance as a factor, the show will go the way the show will go and will be a lot more fun. So there’s really no need for strict planning.”

• Carrabba says he has more than five dozen songs he’s working on for Dashboard’s next album -- “neck deep in songs” as he puts it. “There’s no question there will be a new album, but what the new album will be, that’s more what we’re focusing on at the moment, and that’s kind of exciting,” he says. “We’re getting very choosy about what’s going to be on there, and it’s weird how every time you write a song you expect that it’ll make the record, but three songs later it’s got no relationship to the record you’re making now, and then three months later that song goes back to being a frontrunner. It’s an interesting puzzle.”

• As to what the next album will sound like, Carrabba says “it sounds more like us than we’ve sounded for the last couple of records. I think it boils down to the lyricist point of view. I think sonically that’s always going to be up to the listener to tell us where we are. It’s hard for us to say, ‘cause we never feel like we veer very far ‘cause it’s always happening in increments. It’s like seeing your nephew only once every four months; You’re like, ‘Wow, this kid grew three inches!’ and your brother says, ‘Really? I didn’t notice,’ ‘cause he’s with him every day.”

• Carrabba does acknowledge that writing and recording is a different, and more difficult, challenge than playing live. “It’s easier to (play live) than the other,” he says. “(Live), I don’t have to do much of anything except strap on my guitar, stand in front of a microphone, hear the clicks of the (drum) sticks counting in the song and then we’re there. It’s more difficult when you come home from tour and you say, ‘I’ve got to create something new.’ that’s vastly different. There are no cues. There’s no finished product you’re starting from. There’s only mystery, and that can be an expensive, exciting place or it can be a tight hallway that you feel locked in.”

If You Go

• Dashboard Confessional, All-American Rejects, The Maine and the Social Animals

• Wednesday, July 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

• The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

• Tickets are $48-$75.

• Call 313-961-5451 or visit thefillmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

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