Citizen, Sorority Noise, Great Grandpa, The Regent, November 15, 2017
For fans of gloriously imaginative indie rock, The Regent Theater in Downtown Los Angeles was the place to be on a Wednesday night for The As You Please Tour, where a trio of three absolutely amazing bands enraptured a full house of fans. Citizen from Toledo, Ohio would be the headliners of the evening, now travelling across the country celebrating the release of As You Please, their third full length endeavor now available from Run For Cover Records.
Also along for the adventure across the States were Sorority Noise and Great Grandpa, two superb support acts who unveiled wondrously exciting sets. Great Grandpa featuring the startling yet thrilling performance of Alex Menne, whose stunning vocals alternated between sweetly enchanting and insanely enraged. Sorority Noise appeared to have a good number of fans in attendance, all singing along to their dynamic tapestries. Especially noteworthy is front man Cameron Bouche, thoroughly inspiring the audience with the sweepingly effervescent lyrics. And then it was time for Citizen to take over the stage, and they would deliver their sonic goods in a grand and epic way!
Citizen opened their set with the soaring refrains of Jet, instantly captivating the audience with the very first song from As You Please. Song number two from the new album, would follow, the rapturous In The Middle Of It All featuring passionate vocals and sample programming from Citizen vocalist Mat Kerekes. It was then time to take a journey into the back catalog, as Citizen unveiled the pulsating Sleep from their Youth debut followed by the dark and foreboding Cement from their previous album Everybody Is Going To Heaven.
The night was a celebration for their current As You Please release, and selections such as Ugly Luck and Fever Dreams clearly presented a band at the very height of their creative energies. Circle pits and crowd surfing would ensue throughout the night, with audience members appearing just as passionate as the sonnets Citizen were conveying from the stage.
Mat Kerekes is a captivating front man, infusing each and every song with a sense of conviction and urgency. The dual guitar work of Nick Hamm and Ryland Oehlers is absolutely intriguing, possesses a dazzling amount of vitality and atmosphere. The rhythm section dazzles with its vibrant resourceful, featuring the sonic wizardry of Eric Hamm on bass and Jake Duhaime on drums. These five musicians display an artistry that is excitement to witness within a live setting. When the band unleashed their anthem The Summer towards the end of their set, the singalong of “I watched you burn” from their fans could probably be heard from a mile away.
For the encore, Citizen treated the crowd to an earthy rendition of Flowerchild, the final track from As You Please as well as the last song for the evening. A memorable night of music from three collectives who definitely know how to set the imagination in flight with their brilliant artistry. Be sure to check into The As You Please Tour when it arrives in your town, as well as any other shows Citizen, Sorority Noise and Great Grandpa appear at in future days.
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)