Dashboard Confessional defined emo music.
The quiz show “Jeopardy” even included the Florida band in its answer on the alternative-rock subgenre. It read: “Wearing bangs and black skinny jeans and liking Dashboard Confessional are signs you’re in this 3-letter subculture.”
“We got to plant a flag,” says singer/guitarist Chris Carrabba, whose emotional lyrics and voice on songs such as “Screaming Infidelities” popularized emo in the 2000s.
“Not everybody gets to do that,” he says.
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The band is currently in the midst of a headlining slot on the Taste of Chaos tour, with fellow alt-rockers Taking Back Sunday, Saosin and the Early November. The tour stops Wednesday, July 13, at the Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater in Fresno.
While this exact lineup has never been on the road before, fans may have seen Dashboard play with one or more of the bands individually over the years, Carrabba says. The bands were born out of the same era and the same punk and hardcore scenes, even if that’s not immediately evident in the music. They crossed paths over the years and became friends, he says.
“We felt an important need to be out there with our friends this year.”
By coincidence, the feeling aligned with the return of Taste of Chaos.
The festival, started in 2005 as a kind of winter Warped Tour (both tours were created by promotions guru Kevin Lyman), catered to fans of alternative rock and post-punk and launched bands like Thirty Seconds To Mars, Paramore and My Chemical Romance.
It had been on hiatus since 2009, citing a lack of bands that fit the festival’s criteria.
I never thought of that as an embarrassing term or an insult.
Chris Carrabba, talking about being an emo band
Its return comes as emo is experiencing a revival, Carrabba says.
The popularity of the genre dropped off in the mid-to-late 2000s as bands began to distance themselves from the term and the genre. Carrabba was affected as an artist and a fan.
“The scene bottomed out. And I liked that music. I was like, this sucks,” he says.
But there is a collection of newer, younger emo bands playing now and they are are starting from the same place Carrabba did, sharing influences like Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Superchunk and even Pavement, he says.
“Voracious music fans, we root for each other,” says Carrabba, who just last month began admitting to the press that Dashboard Confessional is working on a new album – its first since “After the Ending,” in 2009.
“Really interesting music is happening in that scene,” he says.
Here a quick look at the rest of the Taste of Chaos lineup
▪ Taking Back Sunday: Long Island alt-rock band known for its melodic hardcore influences. The band had mainstream success with the 2006 album “Louder Now.” A new album is planned for release Friday, Sept. 16, and available for pre-order now.
▪ Saosin: Vocalist Anthony Green left the post-hardcore band in 2004 and formed his own group, Circa Survive. He returned to Saosin a decade later and saw the band signed to Epitaph Records. Its latest, “Along the Shadow” was released in May.
▪ The Early November: The alternative indie rock band took an indefinite hiatus in 2007, after making a name for themselves on the independent Drive-Thru Records. The hiatus ended in 2009 and the band has since released a pair of albums including last year’s “Imbue.”
Taste of Chaos
Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin and The Early November
- 4 p.m., Wednesday, July 13
- Rotary Amphitheater at Woodward Park
- $40, all ages
- 866-777-8932, www.ticketweb.com