Chris Carrabba, the brains behind his music project, Dashboard Confessional, has a plan as evidenced by his band’s recent concert at The House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. His plan? To conquer the world one teenage girl at a time. The sold out venue was inhabited mostly by middle class teenage girls, some accompanied by their parents, and women barely into their twenties with their BFF’s. A few young gay men and music critics (ahem!) made up the rest of the audience.
The most striking thing about the concert wasn’t the band’s performance itself. They played a capable and intimate set. But the real performance was given by the squealing young women who sang along to Carraba’s emotive tenor with sincere passion to each and every word of each and every song. Carrabba knew of their pain and they sang back to him their acknowledgement of his emotional lyrical observations.
Upon hitting the stage, the band opened with “Heaven Here” from their recent cd, the mega hit, “Dusk and Summer,” and, as if on cue like they had joined the band in rehearsals, the girls began their show-long duet with Carrabba. Surprisingly, the earnestness and sincerity of their choir effect enhanced the show, bringing to it a surreal-ness where artist and fans truly merged into one.
It was what Pete Townsend envisioned for pop music some thirty-five years ago when he began the ill-fated “Life House” project from which emerged the classic Who album, “Who’s Next.” That Townsend’s dream would be realized by a diminutive singer (Carrabba stands tall at 5′ 5″) from Boca Raton, Florida who has found the pulse of teenage girls, filling their young hearts with the shared pain of heartbreak and, ultimately, the optimism that only youth can afford, is something the music world never saw coming.