Citizen: Calling the Dogs

The Orpheum (Tampa, FL)

Following the highly successful “Decade of Youth” run this spring, Citizen is back touring their newest record, Calling the Dogs, released back in October. I was able to catch them along with Modern Color and Narrow Head in Tampa on November 12th, about halfway through their fall U.S. tour. This was my first time catching any of these bands live after listening to them for the past couple of years, so I was sold on this bill from the get go. Joined by local Orlando band, Get With This, the show took place at The Orpheums’ outdoor stage to a packed house.

I was joined by a group of friends on the two-hour trek to Tampa for this show, making it just as Get With This began their last song. I had seen them a few times prior as an Orlando local, but it was really cool to see them playing such a packed venue. As Modern Color took the stage, you could feel the anticipation from the crowd deeply. Personally, I was equally excited to see Modern Color as I was Citizen, and their set truly surpassed my expectations. Hearing “Pale” live was such a crazy experience – it was truly one of those “holy shit” moments, watching the crowd experience that moment in their set. Narrow Head followed their performance with a pretty killer set. They were probably the one band off the bill that I listened to the least, yet I was really impressed with what I saw from them.

Finally, closing out the night, Citizen took the stage. They opened with a few tracks sprinkling in older songs with new ones off of Calling the Dogs, alternating in that pattern until reaching “The Summer” off of their highly praised album, Youth. This 3-song run of Youth songs was probably the craziest the venue got all night. Seeing everyone sing along to these songs had me looking back to appreciate the album for the masterpiece that it is. After all, Youth is what got me as well as many others in attendance into Citizen’s discography in the first place. “Yellow Love” got me in my feels, I was really happy to hear them play it, it added some depth to their set following some of the more intense songs off of Youth. “The Night I Drove Alone” was another one of those truly exciting songs to hear, the crowd was so incredibly loud which I find is sometimes lost at outdoor venues like this one. A few more songs rounded out the end of their set, followed by an encore performance of “I Want To Kill You,” potentially my most spun track of theirs. Overall, I had such a great time at this show seeing a few bands I had been dying to see for a long time. Looking forward to the next time any of these bands tour – hopefully, they’ll hit a venue closer to home next time!

photos & story by Hannah Howells