Live: Bad Suns and COIN in Phoenix

Usually the opener is overlooked. However, at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona, Kid Bloom had heads nodding in the audience from the first song. I was positioned at the side of the stage in full view of the drummer and couldn’t help tapping along to his beat. It was Kid Bloom’s first performance in Phoenix being a band from Los Angeles. They had interesting control of going from fast-paced drums to a smooth slower moody sound. During a break in the music, an audience member yelled at the band to play Smash Mouth which made it blatantly obvious the amount of college students present. But the best part of the opener was when they turned the house lights off and the disco ball dropped out of the ceiling on a tight string. As the last song came to a close, the drummer silenced the cymbals and the band left the stage, leaving behind cheers for them but also screams of anticipation. The next band up: COIN. They started with some technical difficulties, but that did not deter the crowd’s incessant cheering. The guitarist teased the lead singer by saying “I’ve never talked on Chase’s mic before” and looked to the crowd with a devilish smile like a child caught in the act. The lead singer was also the keyboardist, and he took immense pride in this, rocking back and forth as his fingers danced across the board or adjusting a dial that possibly added the interesting, futuristic noises to the music. However, it wasn’t overbearing to the point of being techno. They stuck to their alternative ways with a poppy sound that made the lyrics catchy and danceable. The drummer was stunning at keeping the beat but also adding to the sound of the guitars and vocals. The song by COIN that resonated in the audience the most was I Don’t Wanna Dance. He sang the lyric “I don’t wanna dance” as he grabbed for the audience and sang the line over and over and the audience squealed it back over and over. I mention squeals because the audience consisted of late teens or early twenties women all fawning over the singer on stage flipping his hair as a person with long hair would. For the last song, he went down and belted out the words to the song in the audience, and I thought one girl in the front was going to pass out from excitement. It made sense that COIN and Bad Suns were touring together. Bad Suns’ music was, as expected, pop alternative, so there was little to no transition on the audience’s ears. Sure, they might consider themselves rock, but the two bands were undeniably quite similar. I was impressed by the band’s outfits. The lead vocals, Christos Bowman, had a polka dot shirt. The drummer, Miles Morris, had pants that were rolled up to reveal his geeky white socks. One of the other guitarists had a shirt that seemed to change color depending on the lighting of the stage. They had great command of the crowd. Whatever Bowman wanted them to do, they did whether that was waving their hands back and forth or jumping up and down. Two unusual actions occurred: Bowman sang a song with the mic stand facing away from the audience and the obviously staged encore that led to three more songs instead of the typical one song. Overall, the concert did not exceed my expectations but did not disappoint either. -Alexa Buechler \"\"