Citizen is one of those bands that I’ve listened to for almost as long as I can remember; I remember listening to their first EP Young States (2012) and their split with Turnover back in 2012, and I’ve continued to follow each subsequent release up to their latest album, As You Please (2017). I think one of my favorite aspects of music, in general, is the ability of an individual to view their own maturity in parallel growth with a band’s development. Youth (2013) painted an image of rage-filled introspection built atop a canvas of melancholy retrospection. Everybody Is Going to Heaven (2015) dove headfirst into those same emotions, but with a matured-intellectual perspective that utilizes an abundance of metaphors, thoughtfully placed motifs and analogies. And with their latest release As You Please, Citizen further embraces a matured sense of retrospection by delving deeper into feelings of ambiguity and uncertainty.
Headlining at Slim’s, Citizen played a mix of songs across their various full-lengths, but they primarily played tracks off of As You Please and Youth. I was extremely impressed by their live sound and how similar both rhythmically and sonically it mirrored that of their studio recordings, while Mat Kerekes expanded on that sound by contributing falsetto lines and vocal variations that weren’t present upon their albums. After listening to this band for almost 6 years now, my first experience watching them perform live was substantially more meaningful because I was able to personally identify with lyrical themes dispersed across their various releases. I was extremely impressed by the way Citizen – their guitarist Nick Hamm in particular – interacted with the crowd; it was refreshing hearing the sincere, kindhearted attitude he took towards constantly thanking and addressing the crowd for both their support and participation.
Included below is a gallery of shots from their set at Slim’s in San Francisco on November 17th, 2017 – Please enjoy.
Article and Photos by Sam Jameson