show recap: COIN and arkells at pearl street in northampton, ma by emma egan
Picture this: you’ve just gotten back from a 10 mile hike up the largest mountain in Massachusetts.Your hike started way too early in the morning, and you’re dead tired. What do you do that night once you’ve returned from your epic climb? Drive across the state to see Coin perform in Northampton, right? It truly seems like the only logical answer to me, and so (after a brief power nap), a few of my friends and I grabbed some coffee and hit the road for an insane night of music.
The night started out with Arkells, a Canadian-based rock group with irrepressible energy. I’ve been dying to see Arkells since falling in love with their single “11:11” in 2014, and they did NOT disappoint. The set started on a high note with “Hand Me Downs”, a single from their 2018 album Rally Cry, and immediately got the crowd jumping. Mid-set, during the song “People’s Champ”, lead vocalist Max Kerman got the crowd dancing quite literally as he jumped into the pit and started a conga line which snaked around the entirety of the dance floor. Though they didn’t end up playing “11:11” as I had hoped, Arkells still delivered a killer set which really showcased their talents as a group, and definitely got them some new fans along the way.
The last time I saw Coin was during their run as the summer opener for Young The Giant and Fitz and the Tantrums, and though I was drenched from a sudden downpour and stuck in general seating behind a set of barricades, I still loved every second of their set. This time around, I truly didn’t think the set could be any better than the last (other than maybe being drier), but the boys of Coin really surprised me. Their set was incredibly high energy, packed with hits from every era, including “Growing Pains”, “Talk Too Much” and “Crash My Car”. Song after song, they produced an incredible array of light and sound; the crowd singing every word back to lead singer Chase Lawrence as he and the band danced around the stage.
The set had everything from their biggest hit songs to deeper cuts for their more dedicated fans, including “I Want It All”, “Heart Eyes” and “Boyfriend” among others. Every song felt special and different from the last, and was given its own weight through Lawrence’s treatment of it. They made us dance to “Simple Romance”, and made us cry with “Malibu 1992”, and I can honestly say I’ve never before seen a crowd so fully entranced in a performance. It felt like everyone was truly there and wholly appreciative of the spectacle unfolding in front of them.
With Arkells and Coin’s powers combined, my friends and I left feeling sweaty, sore, and unbelievably happy. Both bands brought an obscene level of musicality and energy to their sets, and I truly couldn’t be happier to have seen them share a stage after loving them both for such a long time. With that said, I HIGHLY recommend catching one (if not both) of these lovely bands the next time they roll through your town (they’ll be headed up to Canada in the coming weeks), or even just blasting some Coin next time you get in your car, you’ll be better for it.