My current bender of shows has been mostly pop and indie-pop music so it was only fitting that it ended with a show from one of the hottest indie-pop bands out there right now. Now, I’m not the biggest indie-pop fan in the world but I feel like, with age, I’m starting to find a new appreciation for the genre. I was thoroughly excited for last night’s show as I had wanted to see headliner COIN for awhile now but the night did not go exactly as I had expected.
All female indie-pop/rock band The Aces kicked off the show promptly at 8PM on Sunday night. I was instantly struck by their age. These kids are young. Not just, oh you’re probably a couple years younger than me. More that dear Jesus you could probably be my child young. Although they are young, The Aces instantly had me in the palm of their hand and watching their every move. Each member seemed to have a persona they were portraying on stage. You had the rocking singer, the hippie-esque bassist, the somewhat shy guitarist, and then the alternative drummer. Having so many elements on stage throughout their short set kept things interesting and feeling fresh. There wasn’t a moment where there wasn’t something to notice on stage.
Although their music is definitely on the pop side of things, there was a sense of angst and grit about their live performance that has me completely stumped when it comes to trying to classify this group and that’s something that rarely happens. It seemed like each of the individual styles of the four girls also brought a different sound to the music. Regardless of how you want to classify their sound, there’s no denying their ability to command a crowd that isn’t even at the show to see them. Had you walked into The Fine Line on Sunday night without any knowledge of the line-up, it would have been easy for you to be fooled into thinking these women were the headliners what with the way they had the crowd moving.
There was an unspoken connection between the band and audience. Although they didn’t address the crowd much, you could feel a genuine since of appreciation that the band had for the nearly sold-out audience that had come out early to support them and vice-versa. Their girl next door look mixed with this genuine sense of personality and the fun music all led to an absolutely amazing opening set and a set that has me already looking forward to their next visit to the Twin Cities (which they promise will be soon).
After a quick changeover, and a rise in anticipation throughout the young crowd, the lights went down and COIN exploded onto the stage. Hailing from Nashville, TN, Coin is a four piece group that seems to have caught on like wildfire and rightfully so. Their music is too infectious to even explain in words. They have songs that, even if you’ve only heard them once, you will catch yourself humming them in the shower. It’s infectious, it’s poppy, it’s upbeat, it make you feel good. Take that and mix in the image of the band what with their boy next door look plus a little edge, and you are left with a force that refuses to be ignored.
Unfortunately, no matter how much their music made me want to dance and move along to the beat during the extensive nearly twenty song set, there was very little that kept me engaged in their performance. How do I say this nicely– I’m not sure anything about the set was genuine or even real for that matter (although I’m not saying the entire thing was fake and I’m sure the vocals and everything else were real at points throughout the set… at least I hope they were). There were multiple times throughout the set where you could hear singer Chase Lawrence’s impressive vocals through the speakers but there was no microphone being held in front of his mouth. The distortion on the vocals plus the incredible light show going on around the band leads me to believe that maybe things were being altered to make it sound exactly like the recording. What I’m trying to say is that the set came off a bit staged if you catch my drift.
If you could get past the fact that some of the show wasn’t actually being performed live (again, just what I’m thinking was going on), then you were left with a truly spirited set. Much like The Aces, COIN commanded the crowd with ease and without having to say much to the crowd. Whenever Chase would inch his way to the edge of the stage, the crowd would swoon and move as close as they could to the tall lanky figure with his curly blonde hair. The images throughout the show were nothing short of eye-catching. The group had a giant LED screen behind them that, when even just displaying solid colors, created a very trippy effect with how the men looked in front of it. That infectious sound with the very cool visuals led to an enjoyable set– if you could get past the fact that they weren’t actually being completely transparent when it came to their performance.
Okay, so yes, I’m a bit bitter and I could pretend like I didn’t notice that some of their set wasn’t real but I don’t go to shows to listen to recording. Further more, I go to too many shows where I notice things like this and it can instantly ruin a performance, a night, and even a band. Had Chase and the other members addressed with crowd with a sense of sincerity, I may have been able to look past the fakeness of their performance but with lights that shined brighter than personalities, COIN definitely didn’t bring what I thought they would and I was left wanting so much more.
Dear bands– if you can’t play something live, why record it at all. I don’t care if your voice cracks or if you miss a note when your chugging along on your guitar. I go to shows because it humanizes groups that I listen to on the daily. Let me see those imperfections. Let me see you mess up just like the rest of us. Let me see you be normal.
Venue: Fine Line
Sausage Fest Meter- 4 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 18
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 6 out of 10
Show on Deck- Propagandhi/ Iron Chic/ La Armada