I never thought I would be writing these words so soon. I didn’t think this would be happening yet. Ever since I first saw the news the words that I keep muttering are “I thought I had more time.”
Anyone who knows me at all knows that there is one thing that I cherish more than anything in the world, one band that has my whole entire heart. That band is Coasts. This morning I woke up to messages containing broken heart emojis and exclamations of disbelief. Full of dread I opened my social media to see the news that my favorite band was breaking up. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
I’m not quite sure how to put into words how this feels. Saying it’s comparable to the loss of a loved one feels dramatic, but it honestly feels like I am losing a part of my life. Every single day I wear a Coasts guitar pick around my neck. My handles on my socials are mandycoasts. I have two Coasts tattoos. They are such a huge part of my life. Even if they don’t know it, they have given me the happiest moments of my life and their music has been there for me during the worst times. The thought that I’ll never see them again is so painful. Their shows were my happy place.
Behind the band were five amazing men. Chris, Liam, James, David and Ben. Each mean more to me than I can express. I lived for what I called Chris’ “diva entrances” during “Wallow” at the beginning of shows. While I may call it a diva entrance, Chris is far from a diva. He is one of the most humble and caring men I have ever met, not to mention an incredible showman with some wicked dance moves. Liam was always working hard to make sure that everything went smoothly, which made the moments when he let loose and had fun on stage that much better. There was a great sense of humor beneath that serious facade. James (or Jim, as I usually call him) is so amazingly sweet. He’s always there with a smile and a hug and he’s always able to make me laugh. I always loved watching David during their shows. He always got so into the music, whether it was a banger or a ballad, and it was absolutely captivating to watch. My second Coasts tattoo is in his handwriting. Finally, Ben is the free spirit of the band. He’s a very passionate man with a zest for life. While he does have a wild streak, he is always very caring. He was the first member I ever really spoke to. My first tattoo is in his handwriting. I love all five of them equally and they all hold special places in my heart. I also have a lot of love for Matt. While he was never an official member of Coasts, he did play with them for all of the tours I saw them on except the last, on which he did sound. He was always stuck in the back corner of the stage, but he always put so much energy into the sets. I loved to watch him play. He was always an official member to me.
Through them I have also met some amazing friends. Friends from different states and different countries who I would not have met otherwise. When I say Coasts fans are the best fans in the world, I truly mean it. Who else would open their home to a stranger from another country and take them to Coasts shows? Who else would fly to meet up with me to go on a last minute adventure to see them? I’ve never met any fans as kind as Coasts fans.
So, the question remains: where do I go from here? While it pains me that I won’t be able to make it to their farewell tour, at least I have the memories. I have the memories of all 25 shows I have been blessed enough to go to. I have the memories of doing merch for them at some of those shows. I have the memories of all the hugs and laughs. I have the memories of all the times I’ve broken down crying on some of them (not my proudest moments). And most of all, I have the memories of how they made me feel. The line “you make me feel like I’m holding onto something real” always meant a lot to me because they were what kept me holding on. And believe me when I say that Coasts are “the love you can’t replace.” Nothing will ever be able to replace my love for them. At least I still have the music and the memories.
Thank you for everything.
2015, Columbia, SC (my first Coasts show)
2016, Columbus, OH
2017, Manchester, UK
2018, Boston, MA