[This was originally published on attrition.org.]
Tonight I saw Citizen Cope for their first of two shows at the Ogden Theatre here in Denver. I’ve become a fan of theirs over the last two or so years. Something about the songs appeal to me on several levels, leading me to believe that the singer (Clarence Greenwood) is passionate about his music.
In person, it certainly seems as if he is as into his music as the crowd is. Most of the songs are performed with his eyes closed (or mostly so), hand gestures and dancing around that show his passion. At times, he is almost awkward with his movements, giving me the impression that he is desperate to share his music while also keeping pieces close to him. Incredibly thankful, he clearly appreciates his audience and performs for them. Watching Greenwood (compared to more mainstream acts), you really see the distinction between a musician and an industry generated puppet singing as a business.
The show started a bit late, but ran a full two hours and then some. With one encore, Citizen Cope played more than 15 songs with some extended versions of the songs that you’d only hear in concert. For about $30, this was exactly the kind of concert I love; great music, small venue, long set and a crowd that was as into it as the band. Even the older lady behind me who had never heard one of their songs until this concert couldn’t help but dance to the music.
No opening band, so people were inside early and not waiting in a line outside. The music playing before Citizen Cope took the stage was good. A lot of songs I don’t think I’ve heard, including a few that had half the audience singing along. Heard one really good song with a female vocalist. While I heard some of the lyrics, it is extremely difficult to remember them through a two hour concert of a different band. Doh!
The Ogden is a pretty small venue. I tried to get a railing spot on the first level above the pit, as you are eye level with the performer’s knees, but only 25 feet away at most. It gives the feeling of a very personal and up-close concert.
While waiting, a few drunk girls in front of me in the pit were amusing. One made me and the two guys next to me all promise not to ‘roofie her’. Apparently she had a bad experience with being slipped a roofie at a Wu-Tang concert ten years ago. I promised, and kept my word, as I left all my roofies at home on accident. Watching her and her girlfriend make out for 80% of the concert was not the worst of scenery either.
The amount of pot being smoked at the concert was humorous. The three or four girls waving their bras all concert was silly.
Dancing for almost two hours was great, but my feet will regret it tomorrow no doubt.