The room is dark and cramped with young adults sporting mom jeans and dad caps. There’s an even darker bar and a few lonesome drinks resting by a guy who looks eerily like Mac DeMarco. It’s a Saturday night at The Echo and the room is filling up for Frankie Cosmos’ sold out show with Remembran and iji.
When I first walked into The Echo, I was surprised to see Greta Kline, lead singer of Frankie Cosmos, and members of iji greeting audience members at their merch table. I’ve never experienced that sort of interaction with any musician and found it admirable that both bands were so involved with fans. Interacting with them felt more like I was interacting with an old friend, rather than just a famed musician. It’s hard to explain the aura of the room, but it felt supportive and cozy, almost like a family reunion, but for the D.I.Y. music community.
The night begun as soon as Remembran took to the stage. The girl-duo offered a kind and warm stage presence, interacting well with the audience. Mallory Watje, lead guitar and vocals, had a dynamic sounding voice and cool style, overlapping well with simple drum beats. If you were to take the band Sales and mix it with the band Mothers, you’d get a sound just like Remembran’s.
Remembran closed their set only for iji to begin theirs. The Seattle based band was warm and friendly, with a D.I.Y. sound central to their performance. Iji succeeded in instrumentation as well as stage performance, with frontman Zach Burba, soothing the crowd with whimsical and dreamy singing along with quirky remarks. Iji’s sound is mellow and charismatic, putting you in a daze through wavey guitar strumming and harmonies. The five band members of iji cohesively worked well together, making for a rad jam session. Songs ranged from older iji albums, as well new album, Bubble.
Remembran and iji truly set a tone of positive vibes for the night, building up anticipation for the beloved Frankie Cosmos. Before entering the stage, members of Frankie Cosmos gathered around in a circle, put their arms in as if they were a sports team, and began chanting something I couldn’t exactly make out. I did catch Greta’s sincerity in addressing fellow band members, “I love you guys.”
Frankie Cosmos played a 20+ song setlist, the crowd nearly singing along to every track. Kline on lead guitar and vocals, along with fellow band members Luke Pysenson on drums, David Maine on bass, and Lauren Martin on keys and synth, achieved a lo-fi quality sound that seemed to nearly parallel album recordings.
Kline delivered a smooth performance, her voice angelic, vulnerable, and firm all at the same time. Pysenson impressed with his rigor and control on the drums, whether it was the triplets or fills, he displayed a solid skill set that tied well into the band’s overall instrumentation. Things got groovy during song “Outside With The Cuties,” Burba returning to the stage to play some sick jazz tunes on his saxophone. Crowd favorites from Frankie Cosmos’ most recent album, Next Thing, included “Fool,” “I’m 20,” and “Sinister.” The night concluded with song “O Contest Winner,” and fans yelling out “I love you!”
At this point, I realized that the guy who eerily looked like Mac DeMarco actually was Mac DeMarco, who was there in support and reverence of all the bands that took to the stage. I can’t begin to explain how personable this experience was; though I attended the show alone, I did not feel alone whatsoever. The environment felt like a community of music supporters, just here for Frankie Cosmos and some rad jams. At The Echo, everyone is friends.
WHITNEY LEVINE, INTERN