Of all of the times I’ve seen COIN, whether at A&R Music Bar, Express LIVE!, or Newport Music Hall, every single time has been surreal for plenty of different reasons.
The first time I saw them, I was amazed by the stage presence of frontman Chase Lawrence. He had electric energy; every time he held the microphone or played the keyboard, I could tell that he loved what he was doing and it made me even happier to watch the performance.
And each time I saw them, they got better and better.
The energy they had on stage was wonderful every single performance, the lighting has been continuing to become even more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing, and the music that they’ve released has improved immensely; their sound has evolved from generic indie pop to something more defined.
Feb. 15 marked yet another COIN show for me, and this was the most different for me than all of the others.
For starters, it was the first time I’ve had a photo pass for one of their shows. This means that it is also the first time I haven’t waited in line for hours, or been in the general admission pit, or danced and yelled and sang along. This time, I was working.
But it didn’t really have the effect that I thought it would.
I’ve photographed concerts before, and it’s always a relaxing experience. It takes away the stress of getting there early, being crammed next to people, and trying to hold my phone still enough so I get the perfect photo for Instagram.
Instead, I show up right before the music starts, I photograph the first three songs from each band, and I wait for the next act. It’s not as exciting or stimulating, my adrenaline doesn’t pump faster, and I don’t feel quite as euphoric as I usually do while at a show.
For that reason, I was kind of worried that working at a COIN concert would ruin my perception of them as a band, but as the evening progressed, I found that I was wrong.
The opener, Tessa Violet, warmed up with positive vibes and plenty of energy with upbeat pop songs and just the right amount of interaction with the crowd, who was captivated by and involved with her performance.
But when COIN came out, it was different than it was the other times I had seen them.
This time, it had been a full year since my last show, and I kind of forgot what it felt like.
They started out by performing “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” an upbeat song that really got the crowd going, and continued with other high-energy songs like “Simple Romance” and “Boyfriend.”
The lights, which were mostly just deep, solid colors, enveloped the stage and those on it with such an intensity that the figures were mostly just silhouettes.
The first few songs were like this, and there was something so mentally pleasing about seeing such a simplistic performance play out this way. They didn’t need crazy lights or fire or confetti or random images to put on something beautiful, which is different than it’s been in the past.
Previously, their stage has been slightly busier. They’ve had a giant gravestone, they’ve had a neon sign with their own name, and they’ve had a giant screen with different images on it behind them.
But there was something about this recent show that seemed different than the others.
They sounded as good as ever, but the energy wasn’t quite the same.
It didn’t feel as chaotic as previous shows, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The band felt more cohesive and put together, almost as if they had grown more confident in what they were doing.
They were cool and collected and it put the audience at ease. The atmosphere in Newport Music Hall was almost indescribable — it was, in a lot of ways, comforting.
COIN never disappoints.
They will be playing at CD102.5’s Summer Festival with Young the Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums on June 28 at Express LIVE! in the Arena District.