Co-Stanza and Dry Ice perform easy-listening pop at The Lyric

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Collegian | Grayson Reed

The band Co-Stanza showcases their new song, “Method Actor,” live at The Lyric Mar 3.

CTV Local Beats

Max Hogan, Arts and Culture Reporter

On March 3, local indie-pop musician Co-Stanza released their latest single, “Method Actor,” in an energetic and upbeat show opened by Denver group Dry Ice

Co-Stanza’s music is exactly what you want in a pop act: clean, catchy and not afraid to get a little weird. 

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Lead singer Jack Costanza of the band Co-Stanza plays live at The Lyric Mar 3.
Jack Costanza of the band Co-Stanza plays live at The Lyric March 3. (Collegian | Grayson Reed)

“I tried hard early (on) to make things that were very heady, very angry and frustrated,” said Jack Costanza, Co-Stanza’s namesake and primary performer. “Now I just want to make people dance.”

Costanza doesn’t shy away from labels like pop. Making joyful, accessible music is built into his brand. 

“I love really digestible pop music, but I love having sneaky little elements in there that are kind of like, ‘Oh, wow, that was done really well,’” Costanza said. 

Thursday’s show, hosted by Music By Masses at The Lyric in Fort Collins, exemplified Costanza’s mission to create a positive space through music. 

“I never single anyone out,” Costanza said. “I never tell you you have to dance. But I do try to be like, ‘This is a space where you can bust your best move.’”

For Costanza, music and dancing are tools that let go of nagging anxieties and the fears of how we might be perceived. 

“It’s actually tapping into this kind of light and excitement and love and goofiness and childlike nature that we all have,” Costanza said. “So instead of escaping, I think it’s actually more like turning inward.”

As a performer, Costanza lights up the room, sweeping up the audience with his charismatic, high-energy performance. 

“Keeping music in that pocket for me has been really helpful, like mentally, honestly,” Costanza said. “Music, now more than ever, is just about letting loose because there’s a lot of stuff in my life that’s a little heavy right now.”

Costanza said his music isn’t about ignoring or dismissing negative experiences but about letting yourself indulge in happiness without shame.

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The band Co-Stanza showcases their new song Method Actor live at The Lyric Mar 3.
Co-Stanza showcases their new song, “Method Actor,” live at The Lyric March 3. (Collegian | Grayson Reed)

“Not feeling guilty to just strut around onstage and get really sweaty and like to yell into a microphone, even though it’s ridiculous — it’s a stupid thing to do, but it’s just a blast,” Costanza said. 

Opening band Dry Ice had a different way of dealing with some of those same negative emotions that we all feel day to day with their highly expressive performance. 

“I feel like our music is so emotionally charged for us,” said Elizabeth Cushing, vocalist and bassist for Dry Ice. “The music we write very much comes from the experiences that we have and the way that we feel.”

A particularly passionate performance came in one of Dry Ice’s more punk-skewed songs, when vocalist and guitarist Pierre Booth shouted lyrics about the pain of sexual assault, occupying the tragically underfilled niche of soprano screamers in the local hardcore scene. 

Dry Ice, who started playing together 2017, said their friendship has shaped their dynamic as a band as well as their sound. 

Audience of the band Co-Stanza sing along to the bands new song Method Actor played live at The Lyric Mar 3.
The audience of the band Co-Stanza sings along to their new song, “Method Actor,” played live at The Lyric March 3. (Collegian | Grayson Reed)

“All of us are very capable and able to feel the emotion even if we weren’t the person to write the song,” Cushing said. “We’ve been in this band all together for five years, so we all really understand and, you know, love each other.” 

As a band, they’ve learned to communicate through and about music in a way they haven’t been able to match with other people. 

Ethan (Rovno) is an indispensable drummer because I’ll be like, ‘Can you make it more like (this)?’ and then use a word that’s completely unrelated to music and is just emotion-based or based on some weird sense, and he just, like, gets it,” Booth said.

Like Co-Stanza, Dry Ice is a band that’s in it for the joy of music, not the showmanship and ego that often surround the music industry. 

“We don’t feel like we’re having to flex on each other,” Booth said. “We’re comfortable not knowing the proper terms for stuff. We’ve been in this band for like, very formative years of our lives, … so there’s been lots of personal growth.”

You can find Dry Ice and Co-Stanza on most major streaming platforms, where Co-Stanza’s “Method Actor” is now available.

Reach Max Hogan at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @macnogan.