By Rachael Gerron
Web Content Contributor
For the past few months, we have all sacrificed many things due to COVID-19, one of which being live concerts. Like every other industry that has gone virtual in response to the pandemic, the live music industry is finally doing the same.
Last week, I attended my first virtual concert performed by my favorite band, COIN. I’ve seen them many times in concert and their shows are always such a surreal experience. COIN is one of those bands that sound even better live than in-studio recordings because they seem to feed off of the crowd’s energy while performing.
Lead singer Chase Lawrence is known for crowd surfing, standing on barricades and dancing around the stage during shows.
However, instead of interacting with a live audience Friday night, COIN performed live from a set in Nashville, Tennessee for fans all across the world. The set was equipped with multiple cameras, which provided everyone at home with an immersive virtual experience. This was beyond anything we would see even after waiting in line all day for a front-row spot.
The concert began with a prerecorded video montage of the band backstage at the start of the pandemic, discussing the prospect of not being able to continue their “Dreamland Tour” last spring.
Lawrence said, “I’m honestly so scared that we worked this hard to get to this point and we’re going to lose it all.”
Of course, the tour went on hold shortly after. This unexpected time off from performing inspired COIN’s new EP “Indigo-Violet,” which the band played live for the first time Friday night.
The band members were spread across four white podiums, which were moved around between songs into different formations. In keeping with previous COIN shows, Lawrence maneuvered across these podiums to interact with Joe Memmel (guitarist) and Ryan Winnen (drummer). During “Sort it Out,” Lawrence jumped around on a mini-trampoline placed in front of the stage. All these elements of the stage set up fostered the energy of a typical COIN show in a very unique way.
The lighting and visual effects also added production value to the show that was more reminiscent of a music video than a live concert. Mid-century style globe lights danced above the band and changed colors with the songs during most of the show. Some songs had specific visual effects to go along with them such as “Babe Ruth,” which featured a black and white video of the famous baseball player projected over COIN. This virtual experience felt like a perfect mix of a music video and a live concert.
Although it could never replace the excitement of in-person shows, this virtual adaptation of a live concert allowed me to hear my favorite band live and support an industry that was severely impacted by COVID-19.
Overall, COIN was amazing as usual and they were able to create a great show without an audience- something that is normally a huge part of their concerts. If you have the opportunity to attend one of these virtual immersive concerts, I would recommend going. And to quote COIN, “How will you know if you never try?”
Featured image by Rachael Gerron.