Claire Rosinkranz, Courtesy of Neumos
Author: Frankie Pinuela
Attending a show for an artist of which you have no familiarity is always a hit or miss; in
more ways than one, I should add. Obviously, the artists’ music could not be exactly your cup of
tea, but also, the audience could be a bunch of stuck-up forty-year-old men asking how many
songs you know and judging you for trying to get a decent view of the stage, the performance
itself could be totally sabotaged by endless technical difficulties, and the venue could charge an
insane amount for a water bottle the size of a baseball, but you buy it anyways because you are
trying to survive the next three hours of being stuffed in the same room as a hundred other
people. Luckily, that was not my experience at all when I went to see Claire Rosinkranz,
DWLLRS, and mehro at Neumos last Friday on March 4th.
As soon as I joined the line waiting for the doors to open, I knew I would feel pretty
comfortable in this audience. A sea of hand-crocheted sweater vests, high space buns and
pigtails, and glitter eye-shadow covered eyes welcomed me as I stepped into Neumos. And, I
say that with the highest compliment possible, as a fellow sweater-vest-wearer myself.
Everyone there was noticeably kind and helpful, venue staff was accommodating and patient,
and there was free water–which I consider a big win.
First on the line-up was alt-pop solo act mehro; yes, that is his legal name. mehro’s
sound radiated throughout the venue, his well-tempered and emotional vocals and skillful and
steady guitar-playing entranced the audience. With sonically heavier tracks, such as “pirate
song,” the backing-bass shook the floor, almost crawling from my feet to my chest, going
straight to my heart and taking the air out of my lungs. Opposingly, songs like “hideous” (my
personal favorite) played quieter but nonetheless impactful; after explaining how the work is
about loving someone who does not know you exist, I could tell the whole audience was right
there with him and from there, a melancholic melody and ethereal guitar took us away. mehro
left the audience reeling despite only having a set of four songs.
DWLLRS soon took the stage providing a completely different vibe. A trendy, alt-pop
two-piece consisting of main vocalist Bren Eissman and producer/songwriter Joey Spurgeon,
DWLLRS had onlookers on their feet and dancing by their second song. They seemed to strike
a true balance between acoustic and produced. With discernable live electric guitar and ukulele,
alongside floaty synths and soundbites of modified vocals, the duo managed to maintain a truly
down to earth tone while keeping the audience entertained and stunned.
Now, after two openers, the crowd eagerly awaited for Claire Rosinkranz to take the
stage. Her band, which wholesomely included her own dad on bass, entered our view first,
providing a witty and entertaining intro. A pre-recorded track played, alternating between a
classical piece, a heavy metal song, and Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero,” as Rosinkranz’s band
members fought over who had the fictional aux. Ending the skit was Rosinkranz stepping out
and “tuning” the control to play her opening hit song “Backyard Boy.” The venue immediately lit
up with Rosinkranz’s lively and warm vocals, and easy-going and danceable instrumentals. Her
energy never ceased as the quality of her singing never faltered, despite constantly dancing and
interacting with the crowd while performing. And, even though many of the songs she played I
had never heard before that night, by the end of each of them, I found myself screaming the
choruses. It was utterly impossible not to smile and have the time of my life during her set.
For fans of the alt-pop and lofi-indie genres, or for those looking to get into them, Claire
Rosinkranz put on a stunning and up-beat show while maintaining the genuine and expressive
aspects of her music that make it so enthralling. I highly recommend attending her set if you get
FRANKIE PINUELA | negroni, sbagliato, with prosecco in it | KXSU DJ