Girl In a Coma Fitzgerald's February 2, 2013
In the same way that Girl In a Coma's hometown of San Antonio is both beautiful and haunted, the band's aesthetic sound and presence lingers in your mind long after you push play. With rich tones and a confident demeanor, this attitude is amplified during their live shows.
The three-piece girl band rocks and rolls and pulls equally at your heartstrings and dancing shoes, creating a frenzied atmosphere of lively, desperate, and extremely loyal fans.
Saturday night at Fitzgerald's was my first time encountering the much-celebrated GIAC live after missing them at previous Houston and SXSW opportunities. I did catch an episode of NPR's "Tiny Desk" concert series that was posted on YouTube last year and was mesmerized, vowing to catch a show soon.
When I pulled up to the venue, I ran into the show's promoter Hector Del Valle, who was all smiles as the venue neared capacity. As we walked upstairs, I confided in him how I often feel like an outsider at the many shows I cover: not hip enough for the rap shows, not metal enough for the rock shows and, gazing over this crowd, not Chicano enough for this one.
It was just then, as if by divine coincidence, that opener Piñata Protest banged out a splendid rock ranchera version of Vicente Fernandez' Volver, Volver. "On second thought, this show will fit me just fine," I told Del Valle.
After jammin' out to the accordion-rock for the rest of Piñata's opening set, I moved upstairs for a better view of the headliners. The crowd was swelling and ready for their heroines to take the stage. Once they finally did, a roar of cheers and gritos followed.
The trio opened with "BB," the first track off their 2009 album Trio B.C. Right away, their force was penetrating and tough, with driving beats and enchanting vocals. Lead singer Nina Diaz is both strong and delicate, seemingly fit to hold your hand and then punch you when you look at another girl. Her voice resonates and surprises, creating a universe of wonder and ruling it completely.
She wore a summer dress and combat boots, using her tattooed arms to strum and shake her electric guitar with command and grace. Both the ballads and rock tunes she sang energized the crowd, as Diaz smiled and winked throughout the night.
Then, as if I wasn't already in love with her, she sang a Selena song to me. (Fine, maybe not to me specifically, but a man can dream!) Her rock cover of "Si Una Vez" completely won me over.
And as a testament to the power of the band's influence, they allowed a nice gentleman to take the stage and say a few words. "Would Brittany Martinez please come to the front?" said the visibly nervous lovebird. "I just wanted to know if you would marry me and stuff?!"
She said yes, and the band serenaded their proposal with the love song "El Monte."
And with that, my love for Girl In a Coma officially reached maximum adoration. I know, I know... it's really serious.
Personal Bias: I'm equally enamored and terrified around strong, beautiful women with tattoos.
The Crowd: Chicano couples, straight and lesbian
Overheard In the Crowd: "I wish I could bring her home with us!"
Random Notebook Dump: Another successful Lunaface show.
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