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Girl in a Coma in Dallas
June 8th, 2009

Although the audience at last night’s Girl in a Coma show numbered about 100, they played like it was American Airlines Center. The all-female trio from San Antonio hit Dallas on the 5th day of their tour yesterday and rocked the small venue out as if they were on their stadium tour.

The all-ages show catered to the mostly younger audience. And we’re talking high school juniors and seniors young with parents in tow sitting patiently on the couches to the side. Amped up on energy drinks, they, with the newbie adults (think “The Hills”) and their Bud Light cans, may have experienced the concert that could, if not should, set their music standards for life. Because G in a C gave them a show that bigger performers now fail to give much anymore.

Song after song, lead singer Nina Diaz jammed heavy on the guitar, sang with reckless abandon as her crazy eyes danced and flirted around the audience. Her voice played well live and doesn’t stray far from her recorded tracks. But no, she was not lip-synching. With erratic vocal gymnastics, Nina shrieked, screamed and sang with a more than able voice. To match, she has major skills on the guitar. With mostly chords being hammered out, her more detailed playing stunned like that moment Prince shreds out his closing solo in “Let’s Go Crazy.”
In all, the band played with surprising maturity for only just releasing their second album, Trio B.C. Nina, at only 21, already has a grasp of the power of her voice and guitar. Time should improve the goods. Drummer Phanie Diaz and bassist Jenn Alva offered heavy and strong rhythms while still shining when the songs called for it.

Ironically, their in-between moments reveal the soft girl side that doesn’t quite match up with the music. Cute little “thank you’s” and “tee-hees” almost insult the punk rock gems offered. It’s as if they haven’t embraced their rock star persona yet. Needless to say, the audience responded to everything Alva said, as she seemed the chatty one. A big faction of young ladies huddled together all raised their hands amid collective “yeahs” and “whoots” after Nina’s announcement, ”We’ll be playing Sue Ellen’s July 31.” The blurred line of straight and gay in the audience was a refreshing thought as girls kissed, boys macked and some just played it cool. But all at some point let their inner punk come out of the closet.

Perhaps their set list could have been distributed better. After a while, it was rock after rock after rock despite delivering such crowd pleasers like “Clumsy Sky” and “The Road Home.” A minor issue, though when they did hit the softer side with ”El Monte” and “Vino,” it still filled the room and arms went swaying as if under a spell.

The show finished around 11 but the kiddos knew to scream for an encore and the band delivered. This girl group turned out a show that should have left quite the musical imprint on the developing minds of the next generation and pave the way for Girl in a Coma to be the rock stars they are meant to be. — Rich Lopez

— Arnold Wayne Jones