Eclectic beats backed by bear-it-all lyrics; deeply personal and intensely powerful references to grief, love, American culture and never giving up. A tough to categorize mix of hip-hop, blues and folk music, sung with passion and conviction, Citizen Cope barely opens his mouth but that soothing raspy voice and his relaxed stage presence have the crowd mesmerized. Concert goers sway to the beat and attempt to remember the words, while fantasizing about smoking a j with him backstage. (What?! the man exhaled a puff as he entered stage right!) Citizen Cope is one of my favorite singer/songwriters who a friend turned me onto with a mixed CD back in college. My sister and I saw him acoustic two years ago at the Orpheum Theater (front row, hanging onto every word) and last night backed by his band at The House of Blues. His music is versatile in the sense that the same song can be comforting and mellow or one to let loose and (sway) jam out to. I could listen to him on repeat, day after day and never tire. (In fact, I do.) I don't have a particularly vast repertoire of artists I listen to and I am by no means knowledgeable on the new music scene. But to cling to certain songs and grow accustomed to the repeat button is truly a beautiful thing. A night of dancing to them live with a beer in hand next to someone who loves them just as much as you is even better.I realize Citizen Cope is not mainstream music, (fans are gasping, but it is true, a lot of people don't know the man) so for those of you mumbling to yourselves Citizen who? And those of you with an open mind, I'll leave you with some videos of my favorites. Pick and choose, skip them all together (though I wouldn't recommend it) or get hooked. My apologies in advance for the bumpy ride and the fuzzy views. It's the sound that counts!
Bullet And A Target
Let The Drummer Kick
PenitentiaryI had a video of Sideways in the encore performance, but it didn't want to upload. Other favorites include: If There's Love, Son's Gonna Rise, Hurricane Waters, Pablo Picasso (ah heck, they're all favorites.)
This was my first time attending a concert at this venue since it was re-named The House of Blues (formerly The Avalon / Axis Nightclub) though the atmosphere retained in my memory, from a past concerts is pretty much the same! Security is tight so don't be surprised when they check your ID and tickets multiple times at various checkpoints on the street and as you enter (true story) and then proceed to split you up, guys line, girls line, and thoroughly search you. The whole nine, I'm talking the pat down to she literally opened every zipper pocket in my purse and searched in my wallet.
We look sketchy, I know.The House of Blues sits on Lansdowne Street across from Fenway Park. There is a restaurant on the premises, although we didn't check it out. They offer a full bar (and will steal your nips at the door if you try to sneak any in.) The majority of the venue is standing room with a few seats located on the upper levels.Be prepared for a crowd. But this is a concert, so you knew that. The doors for this show opened at 7:00. We arrived around 8:30 and they went on at about 9:30. You don't need to get there super early to get a good spot, unless you are legit looking for front row. We meandered around the bar and probably stood in our location (shot above) from about 9:00 on.
We ran into a few high school friends from Cape Cod at the show! We had ourselves a blast and felt sorry for whoever has to clean this mess.
Post concert we made our way to The Lower Depths (which you will find a more in depth review of here, pun intended) for some grub at the bar.
I drank a Cisco Pumple Drumkin ($6).
I thought until just now that the menu read "Pumpkin Drumkin".It is a pumpkin beer and comes very highly recommended by the bartender, who is a super nice guy. He was personable and chatted with us as we attempted to sober up with Cheese Quesadillas ($7). Insanely good homemade salsa and guacamole accompanies; Leah and I devoured these and paid the tab as we realized it was 12:30 and we needed to catch the last Green Line train home.