ARTIST: Dashboard Confessional.

VENUE: The Leadmill, Sheffield.

REVIEW BY: Tom Bailey.

AFTER a brief outing in January, Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba was back for another solo acoustic jaunt.

This time around, support comes from long-time friend John Ralston. Whilst Ralston’s pleasant acoustic melodies manage to hold the sold-out Leadmill’s attention for the majority of the set, it’s blatantly clear the crowd are here for Carrabba.

Opening with The Best Deception, it became immediately obvious that this was going to be something special. Although the set remained practically unchanged, with a healthy mix of new and old, the oldies Screaming Infidelities, So Impossible and The Places You’ve Come to Fear the Most, the later again with an added chorus of Say Anything’s Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too, still hit the spot.

Even newer tracks Stolen and single Where There’s Gold… sound better second time around, more natural; as if they’re now part of Carrabba’s vast back catalogue as opposed to the obligatory new album tracks crowbarred into the set.

However, once again it’s the onstage charisma of Carrabba that’s the real deal-breaker, completely effortless whilst dealing with numerous heckles and offering plenty of entertaining banter between songs. The mark of perhaps the most natural and comfortable frontman you could ever have the pleasure of seeing.

With the news that Carrabba has just finished recording the new Dashboard album and plans to return to the UK again by the end of the year, this time with the full band, the night comes to its natural end, with Hands Down providing the perfect encore. On this form he can do no wrong.