Clarence Greenwood, more commonly known by his stage name Citizen Cope, played to a sold out audience at the Music Farm this past Saturday. His enthusiastic and energized band perfectly balanced out his calm, cool, and collected demeanor, making for a great night of reggae-alt-soul-pop tunes.
Having heard mixed reviews of his live show, I was very hesitant waiting amongst the crowd for Greenwood to take the stage, but once he made his entrance and began playing “Contact” I decided to let my bias go and enjoy it. Fortunately, Citizen Cope sounds just as good, if not better, live than he does on recordings. I assumed he would save “Let The Drummer Kick” and “Bullet And A Target” for his encore, but they were the second and third songs of his set. These two obviously got the biggest reaction from the crowd, and set the tone to what I can only describe as “groovy.” The best moments of the night occurred during “Hurricane Waters,” and “Dfw,” a track off of his newest record One Lovely Day. Out of all of the songs he played, these two were the most love-letter-esque, and every girl in the room was wishing they were receiving them.
As soon as his encore began, it became clear as to why Greenwood chose to play his two most popular songs so early in the set. The connection he had with his fans came across most vividly during his final songs, which consisted mostly of a solo Citizen Cope playing acoustically, eventually being rejoined by the band onstage. Standing at the back of the venue, I had a decent look at how the audience reacted to his heartfelt, stripped down versions of songs like “D’Artagnan’s Theme,” and “Salvation.” While a lot of people were crowding around the bar calling out for more drinks, a majority of them were still crowded around the stage, swaying from side to side and singing along with their hands in the air.
Greenwood communicates with his fans in such a way that reaches beyond witty quips and impromptu banter demanding that they dance or saying how fantastic the city is. The diehard fans in the crowd hung on every chord strummed and note hit, picking up on the subtle fervor and gratitude flowing underneath the surface of his performance. While I’m not the most dedicated Citizen Cope fan, I most definitely understand why so many people are so dedicated to his music.