New Braunfelsers and out-of-town visitors flocked to a three-part set of big names at Whitewater Music Amphitheater last Friday to celebrate summer in a river town during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
The lineup of COIN, Fitz and the Tantrums and the long-awaited Young the Giant bands pulled a sea of hipster teens in printed button downs, families with children perched on parents’ shoulders and fans die-hard enough to fill the box seats to the brim.
COIN, a four piece band from Nashville, led by frontman Chase Lawrence kicked off the night as the sun started to set, taking down the Texas heat a degree or two, with a burst of poppy energy — inspiring the crowd to immediately jive along to the beat. Four songs in, Lawrence served up the new single, Crash My Car, a romance drenched bop perfect for summer flings — or maybe just the idea of one.
He took a break between songs to talk to the crowd, laughingly saying, “We’re playing ...wherever we are right now,” and the audience indulged in the humor at the sought-after river amphitheater.
After a brief 15-minute lull, Los Angeles-based indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage. The multi-colored techno light show flickered in the dim of the sunset, waking the audience and calling them back to the grounds from refreshing their beverages.
The band made their entrance as members Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs positioned themselves front stage. Then energy was high and it steadily increased as Scaggs danced and clapped to the beat, pulling the crowd along with her, building a film of sweat up her arms moving to the meter of the tambourine.
The finale was Young the Giant, the Irvine native band led by frontman Sameer Gadhia, but Whitewater staff had a surprise up their sleeve with a finale of their own — a firework show to wrap the encore of Young the Giant’s wildly applauded set. Gadhia returned to the stage in a jeweled cape that matched the mood of the bursts of pyrotechnics to the left of the stage, covering the venue with color. It was a satisfying end to a set embedded with Gadhia’s pauses between songs professing bits of societal wisdom and bursts of dance moves. New Braunfels knows how to do fun summer nights.