Frankie Cosmos and Kero Kero Bonito thrive in modern pop at The Fillmore

Frankie Cosmos

Frankie Cosmos performs at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2018. Photos: Chloe Catajan.

SAN FRANCISCO — Frankie Cosmos and Kero Kero Bonito brought their co-headlining tour to The Fillmore Monday, and it was the stuff modern pop dreams are made of.

New York’s Frankie Cosmos, led by Greta Kline, played a set full of carefully crafted bedroom pop. The quartet opened with the softly sung “Caramelize,” from 2018’s Vessel, harmonizing through heavyheartedness: “When the heart gets too tender/ Return to the sender.”

Even when the instrumentals were sunnier, Frankie Cosmos songs were party wallflowers. On “Cafeteria,” Kline’s observational lyrics embraced anxieties and feeling out of place. The group often interacted with the audience before proceeding with the next cut. Kline reminded fans to vote the next day and fans roared with approval.

“Bring a friend; double it,” she said.

The set continued with more from Vessel, such as “Accommodate” and “Ballad of R & J,” but also peppered in older tracks from throughout Frankie Cosmos’ catalog.

British band Kero Kero Bonito, meanwhile, riled up the packed Fillmore with a set of bouncy pop. Drummer-keyboardist Gus Lobban, bassist Jamie Bulled and two touring members took the stage first, building into the hyperactive “Outside,” off 2018’s Time ‘n’ Place. Finally, frontwoman Sarah Bonito (née Sarah Midori Perry) sprung out with a big smile.

Kero Kero Bonito

Kero Kero Bonito performs at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2018.

Three songs in, Kero Kero Bonito brought out a plush flamingo toy for the bubblegum pop track “Flamingo.”

“How many shrimps do you have to eat/ before you make your skin turn pink,” Bonito sang while dancing and balancing on one foot.

A constant fusion of J-pop and dance rock, many of Kero Kero Bonito’s songs referenced animals and beamed with positive messages.

The group played “Fish Bowl,” a song that makes the best of a simple life, and “Pocket Crocodile,” on which Bonito brought out another stuffed animal and placed it on her head as she sang. Fans chanted “K-K-B” between songs and pogoed during closing tune “Trampoline.”


Tanukichan performs at The Fillmore in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2018.

Oakland’s Tanukichan opened the show, starting with a few mellow and dreamy songs before playing single “Lazy Love.” Twice throughout the set, bassist Scott Brown and vocalist-guitarist Hannah Van Loon halted the performance and had the house lights up to assist fans who had lost consciousness.

Loon sang angelically, switching to a higher gear on several cuts from 2016 EP Radiolove.

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