The section of bleachers that parceled out for the sparsely-attended homecoming concert felt like a chaperoned middle school trip to a baseball game.
Coin, the indie pop act famous for songs like “Talk Too Much” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance," opened the concert at TCF Bank Stadium Friday night.
The musician strolled onstage with his Morrissey Tumblr aesthetic. Emo is in again, but when Bob Dylan talked about the man in the long black coat, it wasn’t this one. Coin makes you want to let him know that Vampire Weekend already happened. And Hippocampus.
Tinashe, L.A. based singer songwriter, known for her single “2 On," came out next in a cute camo jacket, accompanied by four muscular dancers sporting long sleek hair.
She smiled at the crowd, thanked them for appreciating her music and wearing her t-shirts. “You cute, I see you,” was the acknowledgment some lucky fan received. The dancers, in mesh black tanks and black cargo pants, celebrated an early 2000s aesthetic and tossed their hair.
Show closer Ty Dolla Sign upped the cash-to-name ante of the evening. The rapper has collaborated with Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Future, among others.
His DJ greeted the crowd: “How many of y’all go to school, party on the weekends, party on the weekdays and still gonna get your motherfuckin’ grades and graduate?”
They mentioned four or five times they’d just gotten in from Los Angeles, California. Not sure if they thought we needed the detail in case our flyover state education had forgotten the West Coast.
Anyway, it seems dubious to think too hard on the words of a guy whose own name is tattooed to his throat.
One song in, he strolled to the front of the stage, signature circle shades halfway down his nose. The DJ asked the crowd if they’d “smoked a little, toked a little” before the show.
“Anybody drink a little before they came? We having an after party or what?” The stands exclaimed their agreement.
Ty Dolla Sign ensured if they hadn’t pre-gamed, they could start once he tossed his partially smoked blunt into the crowd.
To be sure, Ty Dolla Sign was holding a mic, but he was mouthing along to autotune. Tinashe can sing. Coin’s songs have got some catchy chords. The drummers were by far the best part of each act.
Each of the three headlining artists clock in at over one million followers on Spotify, Ty Dolla Sign over 21 million. But their styles cruise down the middle of the road in their respective genres, so while their music works for a party, it doesn’t quite cut it on stage.
The performers were undeniably cool. But tickets cost $25–$45, and shades, autotune and mediocre choreography don’t really measure up to celebrity treatment. At a homecoming celebration, the music can afford to be more alive.