One of the unexpected side effects of two years with little to no tours is you sometimes get to see just how excited artists are to be on stage again. girl in red, the stage name of 23-year-old Marie Ulven, was like a ball bouncing around a room, or perhaps even like a cat chasing that ball. She jumped, she pranced, she threw her guitar. And as chaotic and messy as it was to watch, the hordes of young fans at Brooklyn Steel loved it.

Holly Humberstone opened, offering quiet, layered tunes that actually evoked the lo-fi bedroom pop girl in red became known for releasing online. Humberstone’s set featured keyboards and looped synths, and was the perfect match for the fireball that would follow. In fact, Ulven even mentioned at one point that she wished her live shows could have the precise loops Humberstone is able to create with her pedals.

girl in red took the stage right at 9:00, and only played an hour. It’s one of the challenges of being a headlining artist with just one studio album released. girl in red has played some shows in the U.S. before, including a headlining show at the Bowery Ballroom in 2019, as well as about a dozen others at similar sized rooms. On this tour, she’s playing to 1,500 people a night, sometimes even more.

On stage, Ulven didn’t seem stressed but she was hardly relaxed. She restarted a few songs, and flubbed her lyrics and chords a few times. She also kept checking on fans in the audience, a valiant thing to do, but one that suggests she may have been more focused on the people watching her than anything else.

Still, when the songs got moving, they really moved. The constant starting and stopping took away from the flow, but powering through from “hornylovesickmess” straight into “Seratonin” was a great call. Ulven’s on-stage gyrations and the air cannons gave the faintest hint of Machine Gun Kelly or Twenty One Pilots, only in the fact that they’re all kind of performing an impersonation of 1960s rockstars.

A few songs towards the end of the setlist were cut, perhaps due to all the starting and stopping, and there wasn’t an encore. Instead, some of the best moments of the show came towards the beginning. “Girls” got a great reaction, as did “we fell in love in october.” At the beginning of the show, everyone was just having a good time. Towards the end, the crowd still was, and I hope Ulven was too.

Upcoming Tour Dates
16 March 2022 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
18 March 2022 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
19 March 2022 – Montréal, QC – Club Soda
20 March 2022 – Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
22 March 2022 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theater
23 March 2022 – Columbus, OH – Kemba Live!
24 March 2022 – Chicago, IL – Metro
25 March 2022 – Chicago, IL – Metro
27 March 2022 – Milwaukee, WI – the Rave
28 March 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
29 March 2022 – Kansas City, MO – the Truman
31 March 2022 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
1 April 2022 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
2 April 2022 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
3 April 2022 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
5 April 2022 – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
6 April 2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – the Rockwell at the Complex
8 April 2022 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
9 April 2022 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
11 April 2022 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
12 April 2022 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
16 April 2022 – Indio, CA – Coachella
21 April 2022 – Pomona, CA – the Glasshouse
22 April 2022 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren
23 April 2022 – Indio, CA – Coachella


Brian Benton

Brian Benton is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles.