The Barn and the Nooner
By: Aneesah Dryver
There's something special about a group of girls that can put people in a trance with sheer musical talent. There's something special about any band that can make the room quake and render everyone in the audience speechless. The kick-ass San Antonio trio Girl in a Coma accomplished just that Wednesday night at the Barn.
After a brief sound check, the lights lowered and the band went straight into rocking the stage. The garage punk band performed songs including "Static Mind" and "Ven Cerca" from albums "Both Before I'm Gone" and their latest, "Trio B.C." Bass guitarist, Jenn, told the audience that they were excited to be in Riverside for the first time.
At first, the crowd seemed too cool to really dance. Save for a few wild, screaming fans, concertgoers simply nodded their heads and tapped their toes to the music. But this nonchalance began to waver as lead singer Nina kept belting out powerful vocals and jumping energetically on stage.
It wasn't hard for the crowd to engage, dance and clap to the music. The room was filled with avid fans who mouthed the words to every song as well as curious people who stopped by for the low-priced tasty food and beverages the Barn's restaurant provided.
Girl in a Coma got their start when they performed for Joan Jett at the Knitting Factory in New York. The famous rocker signed them to Blackheart Records right on the spot. The band, named after The Smiths' song "Girlfriend in a Coma," has traveled all over Europe opening for Morrissey.
If people didn't come to the show already fans of Girl in a Coma, they left as fans-the band had the whole crowd shouting "Otra!" by the end of their set. They returned for one more and performed their popular hit "Their Cell" to the crowd's approval.
"I'm speechless, they were amazing," said fourth-year Ernesto Peña after the set.
Then, an ominous, bass-heavy intro accompanied by an eerie fog and body-trembling percussion indicated that The Start was ready to rock the crowd. In the Halloween spirit, the electronic band was dressed up as well-dressed flesh-eating zombies who happened to have the ability to make the crowd dance around with abandon. They performed songs "The 1234," "Shakedown," and others as fans screamed the lyrics.
"You know it's Halloween," cautioned baby-voiced lead singer, Aimee Echo. "There's all kinds of monsters out there. So be careful."
The band engaged with the crowd, telling playful jokes and making sure the audience was having a good time.
"I'm feeling a little under the weather," said Echo, "because I'm…dead?" The crowd laughed at the charming singer.
"We ran into some zombies last night," she said. "Thought it was a good idea at the time. That didn't turn out too well." The band's undead faces morphed into laughter.
The Start cites Siouxie and the Banshees, Joy Division and Madonna as musical influences and they are evident in all of their songs. They go from dark and menacing to playful and dance-y with ease. It's no wonder the crowd was in a zombie-like trance. After the set, the crowd cheered as the band thanked them for coming to the show.
Thanks to KUCR, the concert's organizer, the cold Wednesday night was full of fun, energy-packed music from two incredible bands.