Citizen Cope, Marquee Theatre, 9/25/12

Citizen Cope @ Marquee Theatre| 9/25/12
I understand that going to a concert isn't like going to the movies.

What I want to know is why.

Why should it be any different? You pay more for concert tickets. You're expected to behave in a particular fashion during them. But Citizen Cope's performance at Marquee Theatre last night was a perfect demonstration of what happens when annoying couples are handed too much booze, and refuse to shut the hell up during the performance. I have never witnessed so much crowd chatter before. It's as if the back half of the crowd would have rather discussed politics and the weather, as opposed to watch Cope's soul-bareing hard work.

See also: Citizen Cope: Arizona is "Really Spiritual Place" But "Rigid Politically"

One thing is for sure, Cope's performance will probably be responsible for the conception of a few dozen children, as crazed, bearded drunkards could hardly wait to drag their scantily clad women from the floor during Cope's encore.

It started out well enough, though.

When Cope took the stage it was like the entire crowd had mainlined horse tranquilizers. Awash in purple light, the once-restless beast became somber and submissive, swaying slowly, tuning into Cope's energy. He opened up with "Back Then" from his new album One Lovely Day and moved through "Something to Believe In" and "DFW".

Cope went electric for "Bullet and a Target", which caused the crowd to go into convulsions, and "Hurricane Waters", both off 2003's The Clarence Greenwood Recordings. "Every Waking Moment", from the 2006 album of the same name and "Back Together" followed.

I spent the next few songs, including "Summertime" and "A Wonder" --both from Cope's new album-- trying to find a place to stand that wasn't humming with the buzz of drunken conversation.

I questioned how Cope's live performance of "Let the Drummer Kick" would go. He answered with a flawless rendition of the crowd favorite, followed by "My Way Home". As Cope stopped to tune his acoustic, the crowd already knew what they were in store for. As the first opening note of "Son's Gonna Rise" rang out, the rising crescendo of the crowd was deafening.

The stage cleared out for a few minutes, while the crowd struggled to decide what it was going to chant to elicit a continuation.

For his obligatory encore, Cope began with "Salvation"--my personal favorite. The entire crowd joined in for "Pablo Picasso", before Cope went a bit more obscure with "Lifeline", "Holding On," and "Healing Hands". He finished the evening with a song the crowd had clamored for earlier, "Sideways."

Let it never be said Clarence Greenwood doesn't earn what he has, and that he doesn't appreciate his fans as he bowed and thanked everyone repeatedly, even lingering after the lights came on to wave to fans. Despite my own irritations with the drunken crowd of obnoxious couples, adorned in pearl-snapped plaid and unkempt hair, Greenwood/Cope's set was about as good a live performance as can be expected. His unique sound transfers flawlessly to a live performance and his extended set gave him the opportunity to dig deep into his growing catalogue and give the audience exactly what it wanted.

Set List: "Back Then" "One Lovely Day" "Something To Believe" "DFW" "Bullet and a Target" "Hurricane Waters" "Every Waking Moment" "Back Together" "More Than it Seems" "Summertime" "A Wonder" "If There's Love" "Let the Drummer Kick" "My Way Home" "Son's Gonna Rise" "Salvation" "Lifeline" "Holding On" "Healing Hands" "Sideways"

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Citizen Cope at The Marquee Theatre

The Crowd: Almost entirely under 40.

Personal Bias: One of his albums is my goto "breakup album"

Random Notebook Dump: I kinda wanted to see Greenwood in Birkenstocks instead of Timberlands.

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Richard Noel
Contact: Richard Noel