On Wednesday, February 22 at Buffalo’s Waiting Room, during its unusual February heatwave, the upper-floor was strangely packed for a mid-week show. Some of the mostly college-aged crowd was mostly fixated on the Syracuse basketball game on the TV during the opening acts. But oh, everyone’s attention turned when the main event, up and comers COIN, started their set.
COIN, hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, without an ounce of country music on them, is made up of singer/keyboardist Chase Lawrence, guitarist Joe Memmel, bassist, Zachary Dyke, and drummer Ryan Winnen. They’ve recorded 2 EP’s, a self-titled LP, and various singles since forming in 2012. COIN does have a second LP ready to be released and they used this show to showcase plenty of new material, along with some favorites from their first album.
The stage was set when the lights went dark and a white neon sign of the COIN logo lit up as they took their places. The applause of the packed venue filled up the space where the various synth tones didn’t. As soon as the lights came up and COIN launched in “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” the crowd got sucked into this style of electro-indie rock immediately.
Lawrence told the audience how the band had played this venue around a year and a half ago, when they toured for their first album. And an estimated seven people showed up for them. Flash-forward to now, in front of a nearly packed upstairs, Lawrence proudly and tiredly said how this was their first ever headlining show, along with how their second album should be released soon. Some of the other new tunes played were “Boyfriend,” “Feeling,” and “Don’t Cry (20/20).”
Something that I quickly noticed during songs was in between songs, when Lawrence wasn’t talking to the audience, though it did occasionally happen then too, synth drones would fill the silence as the band members mentally prepared for their next song. Lawrence’s microphone also had a constant echo effect, no matter if the studio version had one or not. I personally didn’t mind, but I could see how people could have a hard time trying to sing along with so many other loud musical elements happening.
By the time they did get around to playing “Talk Too Much,” their song getting the most airplay on alternative stations right now, the crowd was ready to take over whatever singing was needed. The show ended with “Fingers Crossed,” where Lawrence jumped out into the crowd during one chorus, along reaching out of the stage as the song wrapped up. Lawrence continuously thanked the packed crowd and proclaimed he would never forget Buffalo. He also carried a dumb smirk whenever he addressed the crowd like that during the shows second half; a look of disbelief.
If COIN ever manages to become a household name among this new group of new wave inspired rock acts like Walk the Moon and Fitz and the Tantrums, you can likely point to this Buffalo show as the point where they were able to realize they could command and hold an audience. And that their shows are in fact worth seeing.