On Nov. 5, at Rock & Roll Hotel in D.C., Bad Suns and COIN delivered an incredible show on their tour dedicated to Bad Suns’ new album, Disappear Here. COIN opened for the seasoned band and managed to captivate the audience with their unparalleled energy and synth-pop, feel-good beats.
The band came on the stage under a soft blue light and a cheering crowd. The energy of anticipation was pulsating throughout the small, crowded venue as the the members of COIN set up their instruments. There was a short hush before the band exploded with life and sound, blowing the crowd away with the first chord.
“It was the first big chord and the release of the tension, all the lights came on and everyone’s eyes got really big,” said 18-year-old James Madison University student Celina Loving. “That chord hit me really hard and I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be good.’”
They opened with their song “Atlas,” the epitome of their synth influenced indie-pop style. COIN’s lead singer and synth artist Chase Lawrence exploded into the energetic song with his crisp vocals, complemented by the dynamic, skillful playing of the rest of the four piece.
Joe Memmel (guitar and vocals), Zachary Dyke (bass) and Ryan Winnen (drums) all bounced with the same exuberant liveliness as Lawrence, putting their all into their short but impactful set.
The relatively young band began at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2012. They quickly gained popularity, selling out their first show in the summer of 2013 and getting signed to Columbia Records that fall. The quartet put out their debut album titled COIN in 2015 and have been gaining popularity ever since.
COIN is known for their vivacity and intensity. The band members put their hearts and souls on the stage, evident in their bouncing energy and connection with the audience.
“Their album is amazing, but they’re also spectacular live, which is great to find out about an artist you enjoy,” said 20-year-old UMBC student Kate Gilbert.
The rest of their set consisted of six songs off their debut album and showcased three new songs called “Boyfriend,” “I Don’t Wanna Dance” and one of their most popular songs “Talk Too Much.” Each song was a new burst of their energetic pop, highlighted by Lawrence’s unique vocals, Memmel’s incredible guitar riffs, Winnen’s skillful playing and Dyke’s groovy plucking.
When asked about their set, frontman Chase Lawrence said, “I think it was amazing, way better energy tonight than a year ago. It just keeps getting better every time we come to D.C.”
The band has grown a lot in the year since their first show at The Rock & Roll Hotel. Their song “Talk Too Much” recently debuted on the radio alongside the release of its music video, pushing their popularity even further.
“We’re really thankful for Columbia Records for working that song so well, and we’re really excited about our next album,” said Lawrence, adding that their next album will release in the spring of 2017.
Their set ended with the song “Fingers Crossed,” an explosion and incredible summation to their lively set.
The crowd soared with energy after they left the stage, feeding off the high COIN gave them. This energy was only increased by the highly anticipated entry of the headlining band, Bad Suns.
The California-based band’s modern twist on post-punk indie rock was heard throughout their set. The band’s laid-back, confident vibe was reminiscent of a seasoned band despite their formation in 2012. This energy added to their mix of smooth vocals and crunchy beats.
Vocalist Christo Bowman, bassist Gavin Bennett, guitarist Ray Libby and drummer Miles Morris all shared a confident and cool energy, grooving to their music and connecting with the audience in an incredibly unique way.
Their set was a balanced mix of their most well-known songs, such as “Transpose” and “Cardiac Arrest;” in addition, they played songs off their newest album, Disappear Here, including “Swimming in the Moonlight,” “Daft Pretty Boys” and “Off She Goes.”
Their confidence and skill were translated through their music, each instrument blending together almost seamlessly.
“The clarity of their sound was amazing. I’ve been listening to them for almost a year now and this concert was everything I could have ever expected,” Loving said.
Their balanced, skillful set was only accented by the lighting. Lyrics were highlighted by colored lights pulsating to Bowman’s crisp vocals and drops in the music were punctuated by choreographed blackouts. The lights warmed the faces of the cheering audience, adding to the incredible experience of this skillful band.
Bad Suns and COIN delivered an amazing show at Rock & Roll Hotel, one of the 19 dates on their tour this fall. Keep an eye out for a location near you. Their show will make you fall in love with two incredibly unique bands that pioneer their respective styles.
Featured Photo Credit: Bassist Zachary Dyke of COIN as they open for Bad Suns at Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Photographer)
Monica Pizzo is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.