Review: COIN in Concert
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People began lining up early in the morning on Feb. 3 in front of The Ritz Ybor, spending the entire day camped out on the sidewalk in the hopes of getting as close to the stage as they possibly could. Some fans had seen the band in Orlando the previous night, and had now made the hour-and-a-half drive to Tampa for a second show. All of this for COIN, a synth rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, whose following here in Florida, while small by some standards, is no less ardent for it.
The concert began with The Aces, an all-girl, extremely cool rock band from Utah, who had an easy rapport with the audience in between renditions of new songs from their upcoming album and hits such as “Stuck” and “Baby Who”.
When COIN finally took the stage, they started off the show with “Growing Pains”, an as-of-now unreleased single from their upcoming new album. I found the decision to start off the show with a brand new song a little strange because the audience didn’t know any of the lyrics and were unable to sing along with the band, depriving the concert’s start of the energy that only a room full of people all belting out the lyrics to a familiar song can bring.
Still a song titled “Growing Pains” was sort of a perfect hint for the theme of the show that was to come. The first images displayed on the giant video screen behind the stage were school pictures of all four band members, a design which was also sold on t-shirts at the merchandise table. This focus on aging extends to COINS’ songs, whether they are reflecting wistfully back on teenage years (as they do in “Malibu 1992” and “Time Machine”), or singing with apprehension about getting older (as they do in “Don’t Cry, 2020” and “Finger Crossed”).
Above of all, COIN’s music is about the melancholy of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, a message that definitely seemed to resonate strongly with their room full of mostly teenage and twentysomething fans. With its references to smart phones and performative social expectations, this is definitely music for millennials and members of the I-gen (this isn’t to say that older people won’t like COIN, my dad is a fan).
The band followed up “Growing Pains” with “Boyfriend”, an upbeat song from their second album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, that had the entire room cheering and singing along. One of the best performances of the night was probably “Are We Alone?” At the most dramatic point in the song, the lead singer, Chase Lawrence, called for the audience to “Jump! Jump!”, and soon the entire room was on their feet, jumping up and down as the music reached a swelling cacophony.
“I Don’t Wanna Dance” and “Talk Too Much”, two of the COIN’s most popular songs, received equally enthusiastic reactions, and everyone seemed to enjoy singing along plaintively to the slightly more reflective “Hannah” and “Malibu 1992”.
The concert finished on a high note with a euphoric performance of “Fingers Crossed” in which Lawrence crowd surfed and jumped off of the band’s drum set. COIN then took the stage one last time for an encore performance of “Feeling”, which, while not necessarily the best choice for an encore in my opinion (I personally think that a more emotional song such as “Atlas” or “It’s A Trap” would have been a better fit) , still made for a fun, energetic finish.
The majority of the audience rushed out of the Ritz right after the concert ended, hoping to meet and get pictures with the band members. However, some people, myself included, lingered inside, still reeling from the excitement of the show and sad that it had ended.
Fortunately, it looks like fans will be getting more music from COIN, and soon. The band announced at the show that their “Growing Pains” single would release this Friday, followed by more singles and their new album sometime later this year. And, if the way they electrified the crowd at the Ritz that night is any indication, COIN has plenty to look forward to.