Bogart’s was filled with love Saturday night. It ran up the wood paneled walls and across the ceiling before raining back down onto the crowd, again. It was a mutual adoration, too. Seeing City and Colour live is far better than listening to them in the privacy of your own home. They put on an awesome show. Cincinnati was just as thankful to stand witness to their energy, as the band was to play to a sold-out house of loving fans. Two events during the night made the band’s love for their fans shine through the speakers most.
Half-way through the concert, after everyone but C&C mainman Dallas Green left the stage, a request was made. He wanted everyone to put down their phones and cameras for just one song.
“These next five minutes you can be blog-free,” he suggested. “Forget about trying to remember a show that you forget to experience it.”
Green stood at the corner of the stage, guitar in hands and harmonica at his mouth and sang to a dark audience. “Body in a Box” was barely over before the cell phones began to light up again. The crowd still sang along to every song. However, the bright screens were back and suddenly the connection between fan and performer seemed to diminish.
Later, over a dozen songs into the set, a girl fainted near the front of the crowd. Security pulled her across the barricade. Sitting with her head between her knees and her arms hanging limp at her sides noticeably worried the band. The guitars continued but the singing faded to a murmur and then stopped. Security was giving the teenager tiny cups of water; the band also relinquished their bottles of water to the guards to give to the girl and anyone else who needed to hydrate.
“You OK?” Green asked. Eventually she told him that she was fine. He looked back out at the cell phone-lit faces. “Everybody OK?”
The crowd roared and the music came back to life for a couple more songs. When the concert ended, nearly an hour and a half after it began, the crowd shuffled out. There wasn’t the usual rushing to beat the traffic or grumbling about groups of people that stopped to talk. No one was in a hurry.They were filled with love for the band, love for music and love for the person next to them — who may have gotten a better cellphone video of their favorite song.