Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cobras in Hell

Cobra Starship at Club Hell, Providence RI, August 31

After waiting for three hours, making some line friends, and passing out some glowsticks (A failure in marketing! How dare you rub off, sharpie, how dare you?) yesterday night turned into an interesting night in Hell.

Oh come on, I had to.

First up was DJ Skeet. I actually really liked him starting the show. I was dubious about a DJ kicking things off, but he got the crowd moving and played some fun songs and we all had a great time while it was happening. There’s just something about an entire crowd singing and dancing together that makes me smile.

The first band up was The Friday Night Boys, and to be completely honest, I have no idea what they sound like. They were having severe technical difficulties. The drum was drowning out everything around, the lead singer’s mic was so far down that he wasn’t audible, the bass amp wasn’t working right, and the guitars weren’t loud enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to make that statement about a concert before, but the guitarist looked like he was playing a cool solo, and I couldn’t pull it out from the overwhelming noise that was coming through the speakers. Nothing was the right level, everything was playing over everything else. It was bad, and I don’t blame the band. Their Myspace actually sounds kind of interesting. I wish I’d been able to hear it. I do think that they could have aided the situation a little bit by not filling every beat with as many instruments as possible (lay off the cymbals!) but overall I think they were unjustly served by Club Hell.

But oh man did I want to give the lead singer a shower and cut his hair. I realize it’s the last day of tour but damn.

Next up was The Audition. They had a much better time with the sound, though it still wasn’t perfect. They made up for it though, with the fact that their bassist was wearing a Weezer shirt and their lead singer completely owned the stage. He’s quite the performer and it made up for the complications in the sound. It got me dancing, it got me bouncing, and it’s actually pretty fun music. The lead singer’s got an interesting voice, like a tunnel, and the guitarist was pretty good. Actually, listening to their recorded stuff online, I’m really kind of liking it. This is fun stuff. Check them out.

Then there was an hour of no bands on stage. That is far to long, and bordering in unacceptable. Skeet came back out for the last 20 minutes or so, and he brought Vita (who was cute and bouncy and probably had a great voice under all the microphone problems) out with him for a few songs, but the crowd was getting restless and bored. There should have been a band on that stage and I don’t know who thought it was a good idea for there not to be.

Then was Cobra Starship. And oh man, those were tired kids. Can I call them kids when they’re all older than me? No? Fine. Those were some tired Cobras. Don’t get me wrong, they put on a great show, but the fact that it was the end of tour was showing. They’d looked tired before the show too, signing autographs and walking around the line, Alex Suarez proclaiming he was exhausted. Rough tour? Now they shook their asses and they worked that stage and they put on an amazing show, but Victoria was leaning up against a pole for some of the show. Alex wasn’t quite as smiley as he normally is. Ryland looked a little tense.

I don’t blame them one bit, and give them so much credit for being the kind of people who will still go out there and give it their all for us, even when it’s obvious they just want a nap.

Anyways, the set list was a little different from what I would have expected. I mean, this was the Hot Mess tour, for their new CD of the same name, and yet they only played two songs off of the album. It actually leaned a heavily on While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets, which was fine because it’s one of my favorite albums and I love “The Church of Hot Addiction” live, but it wasn’t what I’d prepped for. I was actually looking forward to seeing how they dealt with some of the new songs in a live situation. Hmm.

The crowd, however, was loving it. We were screaming and dancing and throwing our fangs up with everything we had. Gabe Saporta can work a crowd and he had even the Moms in the back putting heir fists in the air. That was an excited crowd.

Gabe’s voice, however, was wrecked. I noticed it when he was talking to some kids before the show, and it was noticeable when he was singing. They never should have done that tour last Fall when he had a cyst on his vocal cords. I’ve heard him sing since then, of course, and it was nowhere near this bad, so I’m going to blame it on lack of sleep and the end of tour. He’s also leaving large chunks of vocals to the crowd and to the rest of the band, and that’s a little worrisome. We love you for singing for us, Gabe, but we’d love you still if you took care of yourself.

It was an awesome night, though. Cobra always puts on an awesome show and it’s always fun. And they always throw out some wisdom to the crowd, with the general idea of “Don’t give a fuck what people say, and do what you want.” Last night’s however, was great. Gabe gave almost an identical intro in April, but I loved his wording last night:

“In life, there will always be people who want you to fail, no matter what you do, no matter what business you’re involved in, no matter what you study, they’re gonna want to watch you fall. And the only thing I want you to remember when you see those people are the three words in this song. And those words are Kiss My Sass.”

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