Citizen Copes expansive discography of blues infused rock-reggae with an urban twang filled the Jannus performance with so many musical moments its hard to pick what stood out most, but the new stuff from The Rainwater LP (Rainwater Recordings, 2010) thrived in the live setting and it was awesome seeing the tracks come to life with the same quality as on the record. I loved the bouncy, jangly dancehall live version of Off the Ground definitely my personal favorite of the night.
The encore was an entire jam session of highlights, from a Cope rendition of Radioheads Karma Police to the urban, Dylan-esque solo-acoustic performance of Salvation by Greenwood. It was right at the end of the metaphorical ode, as the show came upon its inevitable close, that the chick next to me expressed her worry that Greenwood might not play Sideways. I assured her he would and within moments he began strumming, Ya know it ain't easy/ For these thoughts here to leave me/ There's no words to describe it/ In French or in English. The girl sank into her guys arms, just like every other female fan in attendance, and swayed as she swooned out the lyrics.
As a female, I too could not help but swoon to the amorous tune because, as hip-hop and blues-cool as Cope may be in some songs, he also has that John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz ability to tap into the female psyche with his music panty droppers as my boyfriend calls these musicians. Nothing is better proof of this then when Greenwood came out once the show was over and was promptly surrounded by a frenzy of female fans, giddy and shrieking with alcohol induced excitement.
[image-1]There is this quote at the end of Almost Famous, spoken by Sapphire (one of the band aids) to Russell Hammond of Stillwater, she says, They dont even know what it is to be a fan, Yknow? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts. And this is kind of what it is like trying to describe a Citizen Cope show; if youre not a fan, you dont understand and if you are, then youre missing the musical awesomeness of last Friday nights show so bad it hurts and nothing I write can appropriately recapture it with 26 letters and a decent vocabulary.
The devoted fandom of Citizen Copes listeners in combination with the eclectic yet unpretentious soulful rock-reggae music are the reasons why the live shows are so highly recommended.
I asked Greenwood a few weeks back in a phone interview what he believed made his shows successful. As long as I can connect and catch a vibe, Greenwood responded. There are some rooms where that just doesnt happen and there are others that can hold a sound so well. But really none of that even matters. It all comes down to how the stars are aligned.
I would say Jannus captured his blend of earthy, urban soul-rock music superbly and, as it echoed through the humid night air last Friday, the stars were definitely aligned for the St. Pete performance.
Below are most of the songs played that night; however, beyond the first few the order is a little sketchy (The bartenders at Jannus Live! dont skimp when youre sipping on concert priced cocktails trust me). To check out quality pics of the performance from Belleair Images, click here.
Bullet and a Target
Every Waking Moment
If Theres Love
Let the Drummer Kick
Off the Ground
I Couldnt Explain Why
Sons Gonna Rise
Karma Police (cover)