Roughly 15 years have gone by since Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba wrote the soundtrack for thousands of lovesick teenagers’ late-night suburban drives. His Boca Raton, Florida-based band joined the likes of emo alternative outfits Taking Back Sunday and Saves the Day to turn themes of young love, friendship and the confusing, miserable experience that is adolescence into fervent, signifying anthems, imprinting them into the hearts of young people, the melodies lasting long past high-school graduation.
When Carrabba visited the Paste Studio on Wednesday, he brought those emo memories with him, performing three tunes that made audiences fall in love with Dashboard Confessional in the early 2000s: “Screaming Infidelities,” “The Best Deceptions” and “Hands Down.” The songs come from the band’s earliest albums The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most and A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, but Carrabba performed them in a manner that felt recent and raw.
That is in part because emo remains vital all these years lated. Emo nights have become a phenomenon at clubs across the country, and revival bands like Balance and Composure, Into It. Over It. and La Dispute are carrying the torch. Carrabba reviewed some of these bands for Noisey two years ago, and talked more about their influences during his Paste session.
“What I really love about the revival bands is that they’re really students of the history of the genre,” he said. “They’re reaching really far back. They’re drawing from that second generation, mostly, of the emo genre, like Mineral, The Gloria Record, Sunny Day Real Estate, things like that. Some from my era too, but I loved those bands that they seem to be emulating so much…The Promise Ring, and so on. As a fan of those original bands, to have something fresh and new, a fresh new spin, but in the template of that original shape, is really satisfying as a fan.”
Carrabba said the younger bands inspire him to write, just as the music of his era inspired the bands that came up in Dashboard’s shadow. “In the same way that listening to Mineral inspired me to write songs, to hear, say, Foxing or Sorority Noise, Tigers Jaw, what have you, it kind of fires me up, because that’s the kind of music I love.”
Dashboard Confessional released a new covers album, Covered and Taped, earlier this year, with new music on the way and a tour this summer with the All-American Rejects, The Maine and The Social Animals.
Check out Chris Carrabba passionate performance on an acoustic set of Dashboard classics “Screaming Infidelities,” “The Best Deceptions” and “Hands Down” above, and find more information on their upcoming tour dates here.
You can also listen to Carrabba cover Big Star’s “I’m in Love With a Girl” and Archer of Loaf’s “Web in Front,” recorded live at Dayrotter in 2011, here.