This past Saturday, Denver rock group CITRA inaugurated their new EP Mr. Copacetic with a high-energy release party at Hi-Dive. The album comes just one month after the two-year anniversary of CITRA’s debut EP, Ocean. The rowdy, gritty yet soulful quartet stormed Denver on February 3 with support from other local acts The Patient Zeros and All Chiefs, and some additional support from the Denver music scene, coming out in numbers to celebrate with CITRA.
The Patient Zeros kicked off the show to an already significantly large crowd at the Broadway venue. The trio rocked out making the most of the Hi-Dive’s stage — leaving little of its surface untouched by the soles of their feet by the end of the performance. Smooth vocals, slick guitar strumming and rhythmic drumming fueled the short and sweet set. The Patient Zeros were the perfect act to kick off the evening, instantly launching the night into a vortex of damn good rock ‘n’ roll.
All Chiefs came next, only amping up the crowd more. By this point in the evening, Saturday night had already propelled into an unforgettable dance party — and it wasn’t even 10:30 p.m. The vocalist and frontman of All Chiefs’ attire said it all with a fanny pack that read “DANCE” and a neon-beach tank top that made one’s eyes cringe upon reading the text printed on it. He complimented the wild clothing with even wilder antics like humping the drum set and microphone (simultaneously and not-so simultaneously) as well as stripping off layers of his clothing. The band was at their highest points when they introduced synths, when the all-male group chimed in for group chants or when they spotlighted their mind-melting bass lines. In the end, the band as a whole proved that they can craft an energetic and all-around memorable set that only got more movable throughout.
CITRA was next — the headlining act of the night. They brought their signature colorful lighting paired with “CITRA” written in large neon lighting hung behind the stage. All of that was blended with fog, relentlessly pumping on stage. The drummer kicked things off for a moment, just before the band flooded the stage — the singer sporting a slick gold bomber jacket. They jammed out for a moment before diving in — spiraling the crowd into a whirlpool of madness.
CITRA pulsated upbeat percussions that made it nearly impossible to stand still. They served up soulful vocals — singer and guitarist Brandon Arndt cruised through raspy hymns webbed together with falsettos and howls, all of which kept the audience on their toes. Arndt gave thanks to everyone who helped create the new album, saying, “I really want to thank all of you. You made this possible for all of us so thank you.”
Quite possibly what we appreciated most about the performance was the band’s remarkable balance. The group didn’t shine separately, rather they shined together, spotlighting one another’s talents and synthesizing them into a singular entity — CITRA. The band works as a team and it shows not only in their music but on stage.
You could tell the band was happy to be there — performing with vigor, comradeship and an incredible stage presence. “Thank you for coming out and celebrating with us tonight,” Arndt said. Their EP release party was met with a packed house at the Hi-Dive — packed not only with fans but also several inflatable animals CITRA had thrown int0 the crowd. Mixing together hard rock, soul and their own blend of alt-rock, CITRA proved that not only have they mastered their own sound, they’ve already grown into it. Relentless rock, lasers, neon lights and gold bomber jackets… fuck yeah, CITRA — that’s how you do an EP release party.
All photography by Mark Tepsic. Check out the full gallery here.