Very seldomly does an alternative artist in today’s age have enough material to host a two hour set on their own, with no opener, in front of a 2000+ crowd. For a legend like Citizen Cope, though, that’s just the way it’s done. On Tuesday night, Cope holed up at Brooklyn Steel for a set featuring all of his greatest hits and new music from his latest album, Heroine and Helicopters.
Of the latest album’s name, Cope told the crowd that upon meeting Carlos Santana, “he said to stay away from the two H’s – heroine and helicopters – that they are killers of artists. Heroine for obvious reasons, and helicopters because you just can’t trust em.” Cope cited Santana’s good advice as the reason he was still able to stand in front of the crowd that night.
It was easy to tell that fans were loving the music and the show with one simple observation: The mostly-mid-thirties crowd (and a few younger fans displaying their commendable taste by being there) had their eyes locked on the stage – not their phone screens – and seldomly took them out to try and record the moment as a digital memory. Rather, they were enjoying it and living the concert in the moment as they should.
Highlights from the new H&H album included his opening song “Sally Walks,” “War,” “Yella” (written about playing little league baseball), and “Caribbean Skies.”
Cope also dialed in fan favorites like “Son’s Gonna Rise,” “Bullet and a Target,” “Sideways,” and “Pablo Picasso”, to which the crowd sang and vibed along. The two hour set was filled with a range of emotional dynamics, from the high energy crowd favorites “Son’s Gonna Rise” and “Bullet and a Target,” to the somber, introspective “Sideways,” “Let The Drummer Kick,” and “Lifeline,” among others.