City and Colour
Doubtless, Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour) is a talented songwriter and instrumentalist. His discography, while as a whole quiet and mellow, bursts with understated emotion. But what stood out by far in Green’s performance at Boston Calling on Saturday was the purity and strength of his voice. So though Green was far from the most energetic performer at Boston Calling, he was still a joy to see live. The studio versions of his songs are indeed beautiful, but his lives, supported by impressive quality of his voice, are vastly more so.
Only one album into her music career, Courtney Barnett has already garnered widespread praise and a Grammy nomination, and “Pedestrian at Best” off of her debut is easily one of the best rock songs to come out in recent years. However, as a lesbian—like Barnett—I found her music to be only the second most exciting part of her set. Historically, queer female musicians have become popular only within the queer community; even Tegan and Sara, who have recently become relatively well known, have been making music for decades. But at Boston Calling, Barnett was enthusiastically watched by a mostly male crowd, a signal that queer female musicians need no longer be defined by their sexuality. Melissa Etheridge will always be known as a lesbian musician, but Courtney Barnett, it seems, is seen as just a musician.
—Staff writer Grace E. Huckins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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