Dashboard is Hamden-bound

Mike McKenna

In recent years, Florida native Chris Carrabba, former front-man of such “emocore” acts as Further Seems Forever and The Vacant Andies, has reinvented the punk scene by incorporating the effect of riveting emotion and rhythmic melody.

The product of this revolution is Dashboard Confessional. Carrabba and bandmates Scott Shoenbeck, John Lefler and Mike Marsh are gaining airplay on local radio waves, as their latest hit, “Vindicated,” has been added to playlists at such stations as Hamden’s KC101.3 and Kiss 95.7 in Hartford.

Last week, the band confirmed that they will be playing at the Quinnipiac University Fall Concert on Nov. 14.

Dashboard scored two consecutive hits in early 2001 with the release of Carrabba’s solo “Drowning EP” and first full length album, “Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.” These releases display the power of the band’s heartfelt lyrics and the universality of darker human emotions. The most surprising triumph for Dashboard was winning over crowds of dedicated punk rockers and trendy scene hipsters.

Dashboard’s “So Impossible EP” (2001) and “Summer’s Kiss EP” (2002) show the essence of the band’s authenticity and raw emotion. The “Summer’s Kiss EP” features four tracks off of “The Swiss Army Romance” album recorded with a full studio band. These recordings are a must for diehard fans.

By this time, Dashboard’s music had really come into its own, and frontman Carrabba was sighted by TRL-soaked audiences as a clean cut “crush icon.” However, Carrabba is not merely a candy-coated record label “heartthrob.” Audiences of all interests can find something positive in Dashboard’s music.

In 2002, the MTV2 network featured Dashboard as part of its popular “MTV Unplugged” series. The live acoustic show and its subsequent CD/DVD release scored another huge success for the band and for their growing legion of fans.

In April 2003, Vagrant Records re-released the band’s first album, “The Swiss Army Romance,” which features two new tracks for fans to appreciate. Critics might argue that this album marks Dashboard Confessional’s introduction into national mainstream success. “Swiss Army Romance” features the immensely popular tune “Screaming Infidelities,” as well as a full list of songs about failure, hope and honesty.

The band released their latest album during the summer of 2003, “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar.” This record, which shows the true universality of Dashboard’s music, has something for everyone to relate to, and not specifically in terms of musical preference.

The underlying messages in Carrabba’s lyrics have a tendency to invoke empathy and deep emotions. The album’s greatest success is its single “Hands Down.”

Most recently, Dashboard has contributed to the “Spiderman 2” motion picture soundtrack with their song “Vindicated,” which has remained in mainstream radio rotation.

In addition to a concert date scheduled for later this month in Carrabba’s native Boca Raton, Dashboard Confessional has plans to release a follow-up album, tentatively due out next year, and continue to play live shows with sing-along songs of bittersweet sorrow.