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May 26, 2024

Last Week Life: Chris Carrabba

December 8, 2011

The crowd was anxious. Each person in Recher Theater last Saturday night, December 2, had come to hear Chris Carrabba play “that one song.” It seemed that everyone had a favorite – something to bring them back to days of youth and love and listening to Dashboard Confessional in their first car.


But before any of this, they would have to sit through two opening acts. The first, Say Chance, was a trio of girls, two of them from Towson. They already had quite a following in the crowd, but those who had not heard of them were soon won over by their practiced harmonies and guitar stylings.

Madi Diaz opened second, her music in the same vein as the indie-folk Say Chance. Her presentation and songs were much more practiced, though, alluding to a bit more experience. The acoustics of Recher allow for much of the sounds of socializing to carry and, as such, a venue full of half-interested individuals can become quite distracting. Moments in between Diaz’s songs were filled with chatter from the bar, which I first wrote off to Recher’s architecture, but such noise was not present later. When Carrabba took the stage, it was clear that everyone had come for him.

Carrabba graciously took requests from the audience, joking that he never actually plays the set list that he plans to. Songs ranged from EPs to LPs to bonus tracks. I am always impressed when an artist happily plays his most popular material and, clearly, so was the rest of Recher.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts before but all of them were unparalleled to the audience enthusiasm present that evening. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t even female-dominated. The rowdiest of the group were men who shouted “Several Ways to Die Trying!” and “Screaming Infidelities!” The entire crowd was singing back the words of the songs – even the lesser known ones. Carrabba fed off the positive vibes for a great performance. While some of his vocals on recordings are cleaner and more polished, Carrabba sings with more passion and energy live. And yes, he may be sacrificing some of that vocal quality, but when you are watching him, it doesn’t even matter.

He ended the evening with such popular songs as “Vindicated” and “Stolen.” When Carrabba finally played “Hands Down,” I’m pretty sure the entire crowd was in a state of first love, best-day-of-my-life nostalgia. And it was great.

— Christina Warner, Editor-in-Chief

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