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Taking a Dive with Coast Modern and SHAED

The night began with The Star-Spangled Banner and a man in a black Morphsuit. The anthem, sung by concertgoer Kayla M. Salmon, was the highlight of an impromptu talent show hosted by Coast Modern, Tuesday night’s headliner in The Sinclair. This goofy, no-stakes “talent show” was the perfect icebreaker that seemed to forewarn the audience, “Don’t take anything you are about to see or hear too seriously.” And there’s nothing serious about Coast Modern.

From Los Angeles, Coast Modern is an indie pop band that sounds like they are from Los Angeles. Their music is an amorphous mixture of mischievous energy and dog-day lethargy. To hear this contradiction, listen to a track from their eponymous debut album released last year. The band consists of lead singer Coleman Trapp and guitarist Luke Atlas - who, by the way, was presumably the man in black spandex.

But first, let’s briefly discuss the evening’s impressive opener, a three-person pop band called SHAED from Washington D.C. The lead singer Chelsea Lee was a powerhouse. She instantly captured the audience's attention and held it with her clear and bold vocals.

After SHAED’s set, the audience was sufficiently riled up in anticipation of the headliner. Lava lamps, giant tangerine gummy bears, and yellow neon palm trees were brought onto the stage as props, adding to the funky atmosphere. The lights dimmed, and the audience cheered as Coast Modern rushed onto the stage. Their set opened with "Tiny Umbrella," setting a course through a psychedelic journey.

If there’s one word that can describe Trapp and Atlas, it would be “confident.” There’s no question that the moment they walked onto that stage, they owned it. Trapp was charismatic and energetic: It was hard for me to get good photos because of how much he bounced around the stage. However, what made fans particularly obsessed with Coast Modern was the band’s continuous audience interaction. Trapp pulled the audience into Coast Modern's California utopia through jokes, banters, and playing games with fans.

Crowd-pleasers that night were "Dive," "The Way It Was," "Run It Up," and a cover of "Electric Feel." Though perhaps the song that garnered the largest reactions from the crowd was a cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" sung unexpectedly by Atlas. Despite a technological mishap partway through, Coast Modern performed well with seamless transitions. Overall, it was a great concert and a great venue. The bands started on time and stayed after the show to greet their many fans.

To stay updated on Coast Modern, be sure to like their Facebook and follow their Instagram. Buy their debut album on iTunes or stream it on Spotify. And of course, don't miss out on the rest of their North American Tour. It's a talent show, concert, and bring-a-thon all wrapped up and soaked in summer vibes. For SHAED, check out their Facebook, follow their Instagram, and listen to their latest single "Lonesome."