At last night’s Red Bull Sound Select: Denver, Underground Music Showcase curated a lineup of three badass rocker-chicks Margaret Glaspy, Pearl Charles and Anna Morsett of The Still Tide for a rockin’ good time. The event at the Bluebird was a part of a larger October showcase where Red Bull Sound Select hosts curated shows in various cities around the world such as Stockholm, Sweden, Portland, Oregon and Sydney, Australia, among other cities. Denver was one of those lucky cities chosen — and for good reason (there’s no hiding our love for the Denver music scene). Although the Bluebird wasn’t packed, a healthy crowd of music appreciators showed up for the triple-artist set.
First on stage at 9 p.m. came local talent The Still Tide, with their signature string of white lights dressed around the stage and wrapped up the microphone like a Christmas tree. By far the most engaging performance of the night, lead singer Anna Morsett brought her strong melodies, guitar skills and cookies with her face on it (a funny birthday gift), which she threw out to members of the crowd to enjoy. The set started with “Rough House” and “High Wire,” both tunes off of their newest EP Run Out. Picking up momentum, the band got the crowd moving with “Signal Fade” and “Give Me Time.” The Still Tide ended with “Omni” to much applause.
Pearl Charles came out next with her band looking like a sweet ‘70s dream — she wore a beige jumpsuit, blue ascot tie and soft middle-parted brown hair. It’s always hard to follow a hometown favorite, but Charles and her band delivered some pleasant nostalgia-rock that made the crowd sway together in contentedness. With only one self-titled album on Spotify, Pearl Charles played almost all of her known songs, as well as some new, like “All the Boys” and “Blue Eyed Angel.” Although she looked it, she’s not timid. Her soft voice seemed to resemble that of an actual bluebird.
Starting just before 11 p.m., Margaret Glaspy came out with her microphone set at stage right, differing from the earlier acts set at center stage. It was obvious from the beginning that she wanted the audience to focus on the music and not herself. Glaspy wore a high pony, gold shimmer pants and a saucy confident attitude in her music. Her voice sounded crisp, especially by her third song “Emotions and Math,” one of her most popular songs off of her album titled the same. Her demeanor was similar to that of Cat Power’s, whom The Still Tide opened for in August at the Marquis Theatre. On stage with Glaspy were one other guitar player and the drummer, both seasoned musicians. Next, they played “No Matter Who” and then “Situation,” giving Glaspy an opportunity to show the crowd the true abilities of her high-pitched vocals.
In between songs, she said a heartfelt line about human decency and treating people with kindness, followed by a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Slip Slidin’ Away,” which the crowd adored. During this point, some drama erupted as the front of the crowd had become silent to fully listen to Glaspy, while the upper balcony and back crowd remained engaged in conversation. There was a good amount of shushing and a brave soul even yelled “shut up in the back,” but Glaspy calmed everyone down by repeating, “it’s okay, it’s okay, we’re all human.” Glaspy quickly regained control after thanking the crowd and announcing the playing of some new songs. One song had a catchy chorus of, “I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t, life was better before we were together.”
Glaspy ended the show by saying, “Thank you to Denver and the Bluebird for hosting us. Thank you to all the musicians who performed tonight. This is our last gig of the year,” before playing “Middle Street.” Glaspy bowed with her bandmates, made several peace signs, picked up a rose someone had thrown on stage and exited. She came back on seconds later, solo, to perform a three-song encore that didn’t end until 12:15 a.m. Girl power, baby.