It’s not often that a concertgoer gets to see a performer connect with several different age groups, especially when you are talking about what would be considered “alternative”, or “college” rock. But that was certainly the case when Brooklyn-based Dfest alumni Citizen Cope graced the stage of the historic Cains Ballroom Thursday night.
Cope played to an enthusiastic crowd of about 500 at the Cains, and what was interesting about that was that he is virtually an unknown beyond college and alternative rock circles. Cope has played with the likes of Carlos Santana and Nelly Furtado, which crosses two different generations of music lovers and likely accounted for the varied ages of the audience.
Beginning the set acoustically, Cope demonstrated what a true talent he has as a songwriter. Where it would be more appropriate to start with a harder, edgier song, he chose a more mellow “man and his guitar” approach to assimilate with his audience. After three acoustic numbers his band took the stage and provided his fans with harder groove that maintained a laid back style. The music is rock and roll, but it had an easy beat and lent itself to audience participation, particularly during the song “Let the Drummer Kick”. His energry performing his music could be felt by the crowd and the connection was mutual.
Again, the most surprising fact about Cope is that virtually nobody has heard of him, beyond the college radio demographic. That could account for the younger members of the audience, but there were a few older fans, possibly attracted by his previous performance at Dfest.. Nevertheless, the crowd enjoyed the music enormously no matter the age and the historic venue’s intimacy helped make it a great night for music at the Cains.
Photos: Kevin Pyle