Thursday, February 04, 2010

[CONCERT] Citizen Cope @ Cat's Cradle

       Despite a large number of blunders, concerts are about the music and Citizen Cope delivered on that end. It’s been a while since I have been to Cat’s Cradle, but I am pretty sure that pat-downs are not a regular thing to get in. Then Clarence Greenwood (Citizen Cope) had the decency to emerge from backstage at 10 PM, an hour after the show was supposed to start. That is the normal time a band with an opening act would come on, there was no opening act. The hour did leave time to check out the merchandise. $25 for a tee is a little lopsided considering the tickets were only $22. Once the five members of the band overtook the stage, the smell of some of their habits pierced our nostrils like Vick’s Vapo-Rub.

       Once the tunes started blaring (and I mean blaring) everything was in its right place. Cope’s stage presence is comparable to a statue. His tranquil persona is displayed through much of his music and it emerges on an elevated platform in front of 600 people. He rarely moved away from the mic and while he was there, very sparse hand motions accounted for 80% of any movement (including his mouth which he hardly opens to sing). A little more engagement with the crowd would evolve him into an entertainer but he is still at the musician stage. He fed off the crowd (singing-a-long and clapping) instead of the crowd feeding from the artist’s energy.

       He did play all of the hits. “Let the Drummer Kick,” “Son’s Gonna Rise,””Comin’ Back,” and “Brother Lee” among others. He also played some new stuff of which I know “Healing Hands.” One song I am presuming is new which started with a keyboard intro that slapped you in the face then built up to a sure to be classic Citizen Cope song.

       None of the instruments really stood out, which is a good thing, because it means they’re all doing their jobs. But, the bass pumped through veins like blood. The cool cat in the leather jacket, scarf, and gold-rimmed shades shook my pants like a maraca. The music was a tad bit loud, not always a bad thing, but I went to bed with ringing ears. It sounded like I didn’t turn my iPod off when I set it down on my desk.

       The encore was the highlight of the show. After catering to his habit, he came back out and performed solo. It included “Pablo Picasso,” (snippet below) “Salvation,” “Sideways,” and a full band kick-ass cover version of Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” My girlfriend saw him in Raleigh last year and he played it there to. So it’s a signature ‘adieu’ at Cope shows but that’s besides the fact, it is a beautiful song.

I would like to thank the incredible Cameron Brown for all the pictures and video from the show. She did a great job.

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