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It’s been a minute since before the world shut down that I was able to catch Dashboard Confessional in Dallas. But this time he was co headlining with the man himself, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and the kings in Cartel. It was sure to be a dope night filled with some good nostalgia. Dallas was in for a treat knowing we may hear some old Jack’s Mannequin and obviously the bangers from Dashboard Confessional. Having not seen Andrew or Cartel, it was cool to add some more artists to the list of experiences. Arriving at the Southside Ballroom in Dallas, it’s always a great feeling walking up to the press box and picking up my ticket and photo pass. Best feeling ever. Now it was onto the show.

Starting things off was a nice reunion of the dudes in Cartel. I had just recently seen that they were getting back together from a Facebook post and remembered I had heard a few of their songs from back in the day. Cartel started their set off with “Honestly” and the show was off to the races. They were a great addition to the tour as their sound resonated well with the crowd. I really enjoyed hearing the hits like “Say Anything”, “The Perfect Mistake”, and “Faster Ride”. Having not seen the before and it being a blast from the past, I was happy to be able to catch them that night in Dallas. They closed out their set with “Burn This City” and 100% will see them again.

Next up was Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and boy was I excited. I had been listening to Andrew since he was in Jack’s Mannequin and oddly enough didn’t put to and two together until not too long ago that Andrew was also Jack’s Mannequin. Funny mistake but I had heard from someone in the pit that he was going to possibly play some older songs from them and Something Corporate and got excited. Andrew walked out on stage and sat down at his piano and began to play “Bruised” by Jack’s Mannequin then I realized it was only a matter of time before we’d hear “Dark Blue”, but we’ll get to that in a minute. He played a borage of songs from his previous bands, and it was a cool trip down memory lane. His energy as incredible and at one point he was standing on top of his piano and even got into a duck raft and crowd surfed. It was sick. He ended up playing “Dark Blue” at the end and I walked away happy.

And lastly, Dashboard Confessional was ready to close out the night. When I saw them back in the beginning of 2020 before the world shut down, Ryan Carrabba was full beard and this time he was clean shaved and almost didn’t recognize him. Nonetheless he still sounded as good as before. I had an idea of what Dashboard was going to play but regardless, I knew it was going to be a stellar performance, nonetheless. He started the set out solo, playing “The Brilliant Dance”. Can’t beat a good solo acoustic song. He jumped into new and old tracks throughout the entire set. He read some signs in the crowd and played some of the requested songs which was super cool. It’s not a dashboard set without hearing the song “Stolen”, one of my favorites. Chris does such a great job captivating the entire audience. You could tell that was the case when we heard the intro to “Screaming Infidelities”. And honestly, the song we all came to hear, “Vindicated” was up next and there wasn’t a single person not singing in the venue.

Overall such a great show and can’t wait to see them all roll through Dallas again soon!


James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

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