Fresh off their newly released third LP, As You Please available now on Run for Cover Records, Citizen have embarked on their supporting North American Tour with previous tourmates Sorority Noise and grunge pop Seattleites Great Grandpa.
On their second tour stop in Chicago, Citizen brought their all-powerful energy and impassioned songs to the Metro. Although competing with the Chicago Cubs who were attempting a comeback during the ALDS that same night — Cubs won, but went on to lose eventually — they were no match for tour openers Great Grandpa, whose fantastic debut album Plastic Cough you should listen to if you haven’t. Great Grandpa kicked off the night with their math rock 90’s grunge inspired sound with hits off Plastic Cough such as “Fade,” Favorite Show,” and “Teen Challenge”. Frontwoman Alex Menne’s voice, which alternates between hazy and slow to high-pitched dynamic shrills like in the song “NO”, filled the venue with her energetic sound matching the equally robust guitar hooks.
Great Grandpa set the crowd up for Connecticut-based emo revivalists Sorority Noise — whose album Your Not as _____ As You Think has been alluded to as one of 2016’s “Best Albums of the Year.” Sorority Noise’s emotional set — emotional for me at least — began with some of their dark gut wrentching songs off of You’re Not As __ As You Think and transitioned into fan faves like “Using,” “Nolsey,” and “Art School Wannabe” launching the crowd into a mosh pit frenzy.
By the time Citizen came on, the venue had filled fans who had compacted to get as close as they could to the band pressed hard upon security rails. They were anxious and waiting to see the band they having been growing up with and had been waiting for new material from for two years. The band released As You Please only a week before, but it is no surprise their dedicated fan base had already memorized all the words to the new songs. As the room silenced, the band’s shadows cast with red and orange lighting, the band launched into “Jet” and just as quickly fans launched into each other to motion of songs. Mat Kerekes rough vocals — casted with tension — were almost drowned out by the fans singing back at him that he couldn’t help but point the mic into the crowd. Songs like “The Night I Drove Alone” and “How Does it Feel” were clearly crowd favorites. Although songs such as “Fever Days,” which has one of my favorite bass lines in any album of the year, and “Flowerchild” were new to the audience — it felt almost as they weren’t entirely receptive to this new Citizen, which is bothersome for a band that is distinctly taking on a more grown up and evolving sound. Nevertheless, this did not stop fans from singing along, crowd surfing and elated in the fact that Citizen was back and just as exceptional as to the last time they took the stage in Chicago.
Make sure to catch Citizen, Sorority Noise and Great Grandpa on tour. You can pick up As You Please at your nearest record store and listen on Spotify and Apple Music. Check out photos from the show in the gallery up above.
Setlist from Citizen’s Chicago concert, Oct. 18:
- In the Middle of It All
- The Night I Drove Alone
- Roam the Room
- Sick and Impatient
- Fever Days
- I Forgive No One
- Yellow Love
- How Does It Feel
- The Summer
- Flowerchild (Encore)