To be honest, just last year I was only a diehard fan of 200,000 in Counterfeit 50 Dollar Bills, and Let the Drummer Kick. But after a conversation with my homegirl Taylor W, I went back and got Citizen Cope’s entire album collection, including the recently released Rainwater LP.
I love little discoveries like this, when you realize what you’ve been missing for so long; and even more when you discover that this new found appreciation for the music craft is coming to your city very soon. You see, a couple weeks back, I was given the honor of attending Citizen Cope’s Los Angeles show at The Wiltern.
I found myself smiling to the smooth demeanor that Clarence came out with; the crowd going insane over him strolling out alone to the stage, giving polite nods as the cameras flashed from all around. To get us all started, he did a solo acoustic jam off of his 2002 track, Salvation. Near its end, the band jumped on stage to give us more of what we all came for.
I wasn’t ready for how much gettin’-down-to-the-grooves that would ensue, as for some reason, I forgot how funky the bass was going to be the entire evening. Citizen Cope is one of those artists that when you see them live, they aren’t going to water down the live instruments by leaving the tough notes out; and if you’ve heard the bass on his multi album collection, you know they can get more beautifully complicated than a relationship with a lover.
The Wiltern was the perfect setting for Cope, with the acoustics crisp, and the low end of the bass vibrating the bones. And while I thought I had my favorite songs picked out in my head, hearing them live is a whole new world.
This was the first concert where I literally ran to drop off my camera in the press area and back into the show. The entire night everyone let go of their inhibitions and put their arms up in the air to let the music hit them. From Bullet and a Target to Hurricane Waters, the first half of the set was great. Then from the heavens apparently comes the soulful songstress Alice Smith joined the band to grace us with her talents.
Starting with Back Together she cruised along for the rest of the set. She even gave Cope a break to perform a track from her lovely collection. I don’t know what the song was called, but as she says in the lyrics “people are going to talk about this for the next hundred years”.
While I don’t have the exact setlist, I was happy to get down to my favorite songs:
Son’s Gonna Rise
Bullet and a Target
Let the Drummer Kick
I Couldn’t Explain Why (My favorite song of the evening actually…I seriously couldn’t explain why. Not just being cute.)
His live band kicked some serious ass, and made me realize that bands who bring a live band for their shows should step it up a little. This guy seriously put on a perfect set, and he gained a fan for life in me for sure. I’m hoping that next year I see him at Coachella, because this guy deserves/would kill on the main stage. I’ll be seeing you at his next LA show for sure; newcomers and old lovers alike.
Until next time my friends.