Girl in a Coma live at Bowery Ballroom, New York, Wed, July 18
Published: July 25, 2012
San Antonio sweethearts Girl in a Coma graced the stage at the Bowery Ballroom headlining a show with Black Box Revelation and Deadbeat Darling. Launching into a sharp, rowdy opening with “Control,” from Exits & All The Rest (2011), the Texas trio gave the crowd a solid performance. Excited to be back in the Northeast, the ladies charged through songs from across their discography to an ample crowd.
Giving Brooklyn Vegan and Pitchfork a shout out before tearing into “Adjust,” they followed hard on “The Photographer,” complete with a swanky intro that sauntered into a bright apex with Jenn Alva’s plucky bass lines and Nina Díaz’s brassy vocals. Much like Joan Jett’s gritty playfulness, Nina has a way of teasing and taunting the crowd without ever being obtuse, and did so throughout the set. Ardent and expressive, each point of the triad inhabited her place in every song, inviting the audience to match their energy and let their dancin’ shoes take the lead. Although the crowd was a bit stiff, there were enough footloose fans sprinkled throughout to offset the brittly self-conscious.
Marauding “Knocking at Your Door” delivered their signature ferality and nicely bled into the blithe-turned-chafed “El Monte”'s telling the familiar story of a lady scorned who walks away knowing better. Phanie Díaz’s percussion proved to be a backbone throughout the set, balancing the push-pull between the guitar and bass, tempering each song and leveling them without being excessive. The duality of Nina’s stage presence — barbed and unapologetic like Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland, she still remains girlish and contained — compliments their sound nicely .
The Jeff Buckley-soaked “Sly” lit up Díaz’s guitar before the penultimate tune, “Smart,” another tale of lust-turned-love and that coveted togetherness, sweet without being schmaltzy.
Indulging the crowd with their cover of “Walkin’ After Midnight” (from 2010’s Adventures in Coverland)in an encore, the ladies neatly sealed the show, complete with confetti-gasms dispatched from the heart of the crowd. Ultimately, Girl in a Coma had another fine performance at one of New York’s best venues. Their kit of love songs, palatable and familiar, converging on all-too relatable elements. There’s always something comforting in knowing you’re not the only one, and Girl in a Coma can surely help you rest easy.