By Carol Holan & Mia Zuckerberg
It was a cold November night in Denver. We stood huddled outside the retro marquee of the Bluebird Theatre. The four of us were jittery with anticipation. After picking up our tickets we quickly shuffled into the small venue.
The Bluebird was built in 1913 and has all the quirky charm any touring indie rock band could want. Thirty minutes before the first opening act was supposed to take the stage, the theatre was still fairly empty. A few people wandered around on the platformed tiers while the rest of the audience gathered around the bar.
The first performance was by Ashley Koett and her four-piece band. More people entered the venue, but there was still enough room to dance without bumping into anyone. Koett, a young new musician from Denver, played guitar and sang to a few synth-heavy songs before introducing the second performer: Stephen Steinbrink.
Steinbrink is a film score composer originally from Phoenix, Ariz. That night, he played several acoustic songs with melancholy lyrics. One of his band members stood ready behind a cymbal, but didn’t play it a single time. We, along with the rest of the audience, found that funny and confusing. After a short wait, Frankie Cosmos, promptly met with cheers from the small audience, came on stage with her yellow Fender Telecaster.
Frankie Cosmos is the name of the band and the stage persona of the singer and songwriter Greta Kline. Kline, having debuted her music under the name Ingrid Superstar, began playing guitar and writing songs in seventh grade. She released dozens of albums on Bandcamp under various names before settling on Frankie Cosmos in 2011.
Kline’s four-piece band had been on tour since September to promote their fourth album together, “Close It Quietly.” A former poetry major at New York University, Kline cites Frank O’Hara’s poetry as a big source of her inspiration. Frankie Cosmos’ music is cherished by fans worldwide for its lyrics, which speak so acutely to the wonders and uncertainties of life as a young twenty-something-year-old.
For the first of their two nights at the Bluebird Theater, the band started by playing the very first song on their new album — “Moonsea.” As Kline sang, “The world is crumbling and I don’t have much to say,” blue and green hues from stage lights cast a vibrant glow onto the band. They played several songs, pausing every so often to ask the audience a question and to thank them for coming.
The band’s instruments and Kline’s vocals filled the Bluebird as the small audience swayed back and forth with a few fans dancing in the very front. The first song she played from an earlier album was “Jesse,” a standout from her previous album “Vessel.” As the show headed into its final songs, Kline called out, “I know this is why you’re all here,” before playing their most popular song, “Fool,” from the 2016 album “Next Thing.” Since its release, “Fool” has amassed almost 17 million streams on Spotify.
As the band played, the audience echoed Kline’s every word. After a sweet encore, the band said their final “Thank you” and the crowd spilled out of the cozy venue and onto the street with smiles.