June 21, 2019
By: Wade Panizzoli
Though it was nearly 70 degrees outside and in the middle of June, Detroit was the final stop of Citizen and Knuckle Puck’s ‘spring’ tour. Showing up fashionably late to the Majestic Theater had led me into a respectably packed room, assuming most of which who don’t want to miss a second of their hometown heroes: Citizen.
Showing up nearly an hour and a half after doors unfortunately made me miss Long Beach emo rockers, Oso Oso. Fortunate enough to see them twice in 2018, I wasn’t as bummed as I could’ve been on seeing them perform their emo-anthems that are on the rise.
Starting almost immediately after stepping foot into the theater was Los Angeles pop-rock band, Hunny. After watching their 30-minute set, it is no surprise that they had sold out Ferndale’s Loving Touch back in February with Hockey Dad. Their high energy naturally engaged the audience to start singing and dancing nearly throughout the whole set. Their set was intriguing to watch as Hunny brought LA’s style to the Midwest for a night. Hunny proceeded to close their set with “Vowels (and the Importance of Being Me)” and my first thought was that this song could be this generations “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers. If I knew more of their catalogue beforehand, I imagine I would’ve had an absolute blast during this set.
I never had a pop-punk phase, so I missed when bands like Knuckle Puck were the thing and up and coming, but I’m not everyone as much of the crowd completely went off to these pop-punk singalongs. There was no time for rest for the concert goers during this set, as people were endlessly crowdsurfing, jumping around and having a blast. 14 fast songs later came the intermission before the night’s headliner took the stage.
Citizen has rapidly become one of my favorite bands since late 2015, and I haven’t missed a show of theirs in the Detroit / Toledo area since. Citizen is a band that never forgets who they are and where they came from, and ultimately hasn’t “sold out.” They create and play the songs that they want to play; not what their fans want them to write and perform. The setlist on this tour was marketed as “one for the freaks” and it was exactly that.
A third of their set were deep cuts that you would not expect in a typical Citizen set, especially for the liking of this pop-punk tour. Songs like “My Favorite Color”, “Ten”, “Sick and Impatient” and “You Are A Star” were pleasant surprises. Out of the ten times I’ve seen Citizen, this was the first time that I’ve seen them perform “Heaviside”, which was a real treat. Another 14 songs later, Citizen exited the stage, yet returned before fans even had the chance to chant “one more song.” If you’re a fan of Citizen and were paying attention during the set, you knew what was coming as “The Night I Drove Alone” was missing from the main set. And that’s what happened. Fans screamed the notable lyric in Citizen’s career: “and I should’ve crashed the car” during the verses to this mainstream song.
Citizen thanked the fans, family, and friends who came out to the show that night. The concert goers were reminded that this was going to be the last show from the band for a bit, as they ended the “As You Please” album cycle and will return with their succeeding fourth record.
All photos credited to Kinkade Ruppert