After months of pining on Twitter for a Coast Modern show, I was graced with one on the West Coast. Yes, I said the West Coast. Since I live in a small town on the Southern Oregon border, travel is required for any band I want to see live. And when we’re talking about Coast Modern I pretty much would’ve traveled anywhere along the Pacific Ocean to finally see them.
Last November when I submerged myself in all things Dreamers, I heard Coast Modern’s debut song Hollow Life played on Alt Nation. It may show you how incredible it was because it was really hard to get in my head during that time. Then a serendipitous moment hit when one of my new Dreamers’ friends, DJ Beauty, suggested I give it a go.
Mix a good song with a hella fun Twitter presence and you’ve pretty much landed on my Favorite People Top Ten list. While this new Coast Modern band was pretty illusive about releasing any details about themselves, they were responsive, charming and engaging in the Twitterverse. It was easy to make a dance video of their song and include them on Twitter blasts. They were even charitably understanding when I Snap Attacked them a couple times. How could you not love them for that alone? Now after months of gushing in 140 character-ed spurts, I would be able to see if they could live up to all the hype I created in my head.
I’m not going to play this down, I was pretty freaking excited. I’d worked in a double concert shot by catching Dreamers in Fresno and then coming back up to Coast Modern in San Fran. Could there have been anything better? (Uh yes…you could throw in an Airborne Toxic Event or a Limousines show to completely blow my fucking mind.) I knew catching Coast Modern in a small venue at these early stages was something special. I don’t think they’ll be this small for long with all the buzz going around. However, that didn’t mean I would feel the love. I have different criteria to be one of my fave bands. Meeting them in person is requirement to determine if I can really invest my heart.
My Bay Area friend let me use her place to get ready while she worked and she even agreed to meet me at the show. Taking Uber to the city hurts a bit. The bill kills you until you consider the driving, the parking, and the needing to be completely sober. Then the dollar signs don’t look so bad anymore. Lucky for me, my Uber driver was a pretty nice guy. After he complained about the company for the first fifteen minutes, he asked what I was doing. Okay, my turn to put Coast Modern on blast and I did. By the time he rolled up to my destination he promised me he would check them out and tell his son to do the same.
“You sure this is it?” he said when we both looked at a purple spray painted door with the address digits stenciled on the front.
“I think so?” And jumped out before he gave me some lecture about how a female shouldn’t go to shows alone. And if you think I haven’t heard that story before, you have no fucking idea what it’s like to be a woman.
Two eager, fresh faced people stood by the wall. (I named them #1 and #2, and yes, I called them those names all night. Have you ever read this blog? Everyone gets a nickname.) I made sure they were going to the same show and I did actually have the right place. They told me about the other band and I got in some more Coast Modern lovin’. “I drove all the way from Oregon for them,” I said. My mantra throughout the night.
I won’t bore you with details about walking around trying to find something to do until doors opened or my friend catching me Snapping a video as I walked across the street. In the end, I stood front and center at that stage. And then I kinda panicked.
For people who don’t use social media to death, it can make an awkward relationship. I mean, can you even call it that? Do we have a relationship? I mean, maybe you recognize my Twitter profile pic. Do I introduce myself as Susan or sprunty2000? It wouldn’t be long before Coast Modern took the stage and I’d have to make eye contact with someone I’ve never met but know somewhat? That’s when the worry started. What if they have no idea who I am? I mean, I told them I was coming. What if they didn’t care? Heck, why would they care? Nothing is worse than trying to over-explain your existence.
My coping mechanism? Meet people. I grabbed some of the stickers from the merch table and made my way around the joint. I asked everyone who they were there to see and then promised them something special from the opener’s show. They smiled, nodded, and agreed to give them a chance. They got a sticker, I took their picture, and moved on to the next group. Several asked if I worked for Coast Modern and I said, “Nope. I just like them a lot. I drove all the way from Oregon to see them.”
These two dudes were my first victims. They were such sports, I really ran amuck after them.
This was much prettier than the real gauges in his ear.
It wasn’t long before I Got #1 and #2 on the bandwagon too.
And these two? I just loved them. They posed for each other all night. One of my fave couples.
As show time approached, I worried more about how I was supposed to act. Do I wave? Pretend like I’m not the same person that blows up their Twitter feed with nonsense? Should I try to act somewhat mature so they don’t ban me from future shows? And what about pictures? Should I take my million pictures? Oh God, please don’t let my concert Tourette’s kick in and start barking out rando facts. This was their IRL first impression of me and we all know you only get one chance.
Coast Modern walked on the stage and my worry amped to 11. (Yep, anytime I can get that Spinal Tap reference in a blog, I do.) Lead singer Coleman seemed to half-smile when we made brief eye contact. It was a half smile, right? Was it recognition? Maybe appreciation I traveled for their show? Or maybe it wasn’t for me at all. Maybe it was directed at Pretty Young Thing standing at my side.
They started with a song they haven’t released yet. The vibe confirmed it was going to be a good show and I kept my excitement in check. Maybe I could pull off being seemingly normal all night. Then, they went into Guru and I was done. Music has a funny way of doing that. A familiar song you love and have played on repeat a million times lights up your soul. The dancing started, the camera came out, and I recognized myself again.
Coast Modern killed it. I mean, this wasn’t “Oh I’ve got dreamy eyes for this band and you can play all shitty for me to still love you” kind of show. This was “people who didn’t know them were dancing their asses off” music being pumped out. The show flew by so fast I was sad when Hollow Life closed the set. How could it be over already?
It’s really hard to choose one Coleman Trapp picture to capture the moment, but this picture calls to me.
This one also has a je ne sais quoi to it. I love it.
That sound? It’s girls swooning everywhere for Luke Atlas.
The set ended, lead singer Coleman swooped up his set list, and they all darted off stage. Not gonna lie, I think my hand might have been out thinking he would give it to me since I begged for one on Twitter the day before. Sucking up my sadness, I looked down to grab any of the other ones. They were already gone. Snatched. Vanished. I died inside. Pretty Young Thing offered me the one she held. I declined. She’d marked it with her lips before the show. That was her memory on that set list. I couldn’t take it no matter how selfish I wanted to be.
I was back to awkward “what happens now?” P.Y.T. asked me to stay up front for the next band. I told her it’s a travesty to be a “Front” when you’ve never heard a song before. I excused myself to slink back to the merch table to enhance my tee shirt collection. Do the familiar. Get my head back to reality. I was there for a good concert and that’s what I got.
While worming through people, I ran smack right into Coleman. Literally, I looked up from the floor and we were face to face. All the worry, insecurity, and doubt choked off any intelligent thought I might have had. This is usually when my Concert Tourette’s gets the best of me and I scream out something ridiculous.
I can’t remember who said “hey” first. Don’t jump to any conclusions, I told myself. It didn’t mean anything. You just shoved your phone three feet from his face for the last forty minutes. He’s probably plotting the quickest way out from this awkward interaction.
“Did you get your set list?” he said.
“Uh…oh no. They were all taken,” I said.
“I saved you mine. I’ll go get it.” He turned to head backstage and in that moment I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with Coast Modern. Because in that moment all of it was real. Everything I wanted them to be was captured in that one thoughtful act.
Coast Modern only continued to impress when they talked with people, signed gear, and posed for pictures. They took the time to treat each person like a special snowflake. That kind of niceness I can’t resist. I was hooked. Done. Completely smitten. Forever loyal.
Luke’s poses are like nothing else. He killed me with this, which led to taking thousands. You MUST get a picture with him.
This is totally the international symbol of endearment and we should be Best Friends Forever, right? No way Coleman could be implying “Hey crazy Susan, I’m kinda tired of this.”
I really can’t say enough about meeting Coast Modern. The music was terrific. Seriously, one of the best shows. A good feeling party. I could go to one every night to fill my spirit. As for the gentlemen themselves, they were kind, funny, and genuine; the kind of people you want to get behind and wish wonderful things for. It’s an experience I recommend everyone check out for themselves because it’s a rarity you get all this greatness in one package.