Live Shot: COIN, Yardsale! energize crowds with live band sound at Forty Acres Fest

Sofia Treviño, Angela Lim, Life and Arts Reporters

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the March 29, 2022 flipbook.

As this Saturday’s annual Forty Acres Fest came to a close, thousands of Longhorns stood in front of the UT Tower to watch performances by indie rock bands Yardsale! and COIN. As a prize for winning the Battle of the Bands competition March 9, Yardsale! opened for headliner COIN.

Yardsale!

With powerful vocals, funky guitar riffs and candid interactions with the crowd, Yardsale! brought high-spirited energy and an evening for Longhorns to remember.

Yardsale!’s 45-minute set began with “Japanese Motorbike,” picking up in tempo and inviting the crowd to dance.

Featuring covers such as Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and Olivia Rodrigo’s “deja vu,” Yardsale!’s unique twists gave the originals more upbeat and vibrant instrumentals for the crowd to lovingly sing along with.

Although the group has five musicians — comprised of UT sophomores guitarist and lead singer Nathaniel Ogren, guitarist Christian Daniel, bassist Zach Russell, drummer Alex Meeler and keyboardist Patrick Wang — each shined throughout the set. During “It’s Okay,” Daniel’s impressive guitar solo elicited head bops from the crowd.

Ogren introduced each of his bandmates — plus a trombonist, saxophonist and trumpet player — with witty one-liners. The intros during the “Beastly” jazzy interlude, such as Meeler being the “ordained minister in (their) church of rhythm,” showed the musicians’ clear affection for each other.

Leading into “Heal Me,” the group shared their playful personalities. Daniel, Ogren and Russell played their guitars over their heads and behind their backs. Wang’s groovy keyboard solo showcased his agility and technique, garnering excited shouts from the crowd.

The band dragged out their final song “stranger” with an intense, rambunctious tempo and slowed it down with one final cymbal crash to wrap up the thrilling opening act.

COIN

The sky darkened as the sun set behind the Tower, and COIN took on the Main Mall under incandescent lights. Thousands flooded the outdoor venue as the Nashville-based band brought their dynamic presence and 13-song setlist to the Forty Acres Fest stage. 

The indie pop rock group immediately took the crowd to Dreamland with the synth intro of “Into My Arms,” following up with the addictive, rough bassline in “Chapstick.”

The audience’s energy climbed during “I Want It All,” a track with a sonic, triplet-infused rhythm. From Longhorns clapping during the bridge of “Nobody’s Baby” to the bandmates circling around drummer Ryan Winnen in “Valentine,” the barrier between the stage and crowd dissipated, inciting a more enjoyable show for both the audience and the performers.

After a chilling performance of “Cemetery,” the group played a stellar version of “Hannah” with an explosive outro. The atmosphere then relaxed with “Malibu 1992,” and arms swayed to the slower tempo.

Despite the set’s technical difficulties, which cut “Youuu” short after “You Are the Traffic,” the venue’s synergy didn’t waver. COIN intensified their power in “Crash My Car” to compensate. 

“Please help me sing this, dear God,” said Chase Lawrence, lead vocalist and synthesizer.

Toward the end of the show, COIN performed their most streamed song, “Talk Too Much.” With a recognizable, feel-good guitar riff and stable vocals, the audience belted every single line. 

Making their exit with the exhilarating headbanger “Fingers Crossed,” Lawrence lept atop a bass drum, hit the snare with a bouquet from a fan and valiantly faced an unparalleled concert crowd.