Nina Diaz Returns To Alex’s Bar With “The Beat Is Dead” [PHOTOS] REVIEW+PHOTOS: NINA DIAZ @ ALEX'S BAR 6/9/17
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Long Beach, CA- I don’t know how many times I can say it, but I absolutely love Nina Diaz’s music. Whether it’s her solo material or the music she puts out with her band Girl In A Coma, there’s something in the timbre of her lush alto voice that just strikes a chord with me. She could be singing a melodically impassioned ballad about her family one minute, then flip the script and unleash a vitriolic angst the next; and in each case I’m always listening in awe of the spirit she puts in each and every note.
Backed by a five-piece band, Nina featured songs from her latest album ,”The Beat Is Dead”. While there are some who have longed for more of the riot-grrrl punk that Girl In A Coma is known for, “The Beat Is Dead” is a very personal album that really gives the listener some insight into Ms. Diaz’s soul. Each beautifully crafted song is literally a chapter of Nina’s life, and on this evening in Long Beach, the audience got to hear Nina tell her story.
Performing the album in it’s entirety, the audience was gifted the raw and visceral emotions of Nina’s struggle with addiction and rehabilitation. Songs like “Dig”, “January 9th” and “Fall In Love” carry an emotional weight, but through Nina’s stellar songwriting, she’s able to express such heavy topics with a pop-sensibility that showcase her innate ability to craft catchy melodies.
Towards the end of her set, Nina started the performance of “For You” with her band. With just her voice and her guitar, Nina sing about unrequited love that pierces the soul. It crescendoed as her band joined in towards the end, giving the awestruck audience shivers as she repeated the chorus “For you, I’ll go all the way”.
For her encore, Nina paid tribute to the late Chris Cornell with a cover of Soundgarden’s “Blow Up the Outside World”. Though she had spent the evening singing her own songs, her selection of this particular song was ever so poignant. Reflecting on her struggles with addiction and depression with her own music throughout the evening, and acknowledging that our personal idols are not immortal, as soon as she sang the lyrics “Nothing seems to kill me, no matter how hard I try”; I was once again subject to another goose-bump inducing moment.
It may be a while until Southern California will see Nina Diaz perform again. She announced to the crowd that Girl In A Coma was in the process of working on a new album, so we fans will just have to wait patiently to hear what Nina and company will write and record, and I, for one, can’t wait.
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Nina Diaz from San Antonio, Texas “LIVE” Alex Bar – Long Beach, Ca 6-9-2017
Posted by Charles Russell Baca on Monday, June 12, 2017
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.