Cobra Starship / All Time Low - Manchester Academy
3 - 16.5.08
Cobra Starship are a difficult band to define and are tonight
paired up with fellow American pop-punkers, All Time Low to make up the
two halves of a mismatched but nevertheless entertaining co-headline show.
Enthusiastic three-piece, Broadway Calls deliver some well assembled powerchord
anthems and warm the stage suitably for the acts to follow.
With amazing confidence and hand claps, Cobra Starship tear into their
set with a menagerie of resounding, pounding electro-dance funk. Glowsticks,
bright attire and an impressive light show make this show very visual to
match the musical atmosphere. About one minute into their first track technical
hitches threaten the show and natural born frontman, Gabe Saporta resorts
to a spontaneous and beatboxed Beastie Boys cover to fill the time. Teaching
the crowd the Soldierboy dance, impromptu comedy and a little Gwen Stefani
sing along also play a part in filling the ten minutes of entertaining
but dead air.
Eventually the show kicks off again and Cobra Starship fill the air
with waves of electronica, clean, crisp vocals and some exceptionally camp
dance moves. This is a band that could win over a crowd with looks and
interaction without playing a single note, which is not to say that their
music is bad. Catchy choruses, plenty of whoa-ohing and some tofu based
banter thrown in for free make for a fun show and a crowd favourite. Cobra
Starship fill the room and spill out. You will never see the, play this
small a venue again.
A disclaimer blares into the crowd's collective ears and warns explicitly
and with examples of the bad language that they are in for during the next
set. All Time Low set the tone and march on stage hip hop stylee
to rock some comedy pop-punk. Blink 182 spring to mind as the band play
some happy-go-lucky summery songs that get the crowd jumping in moderation.
A few dancey numbers later, hardworking guitarist/singer Alex demands a
circle pit and the rock kids oblige. Black eyes and bloody noses then ensue
as All Time Low play the classic track "Let It Roll".
The suped up cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" marks the midpoint of the
set and the band are visibly tired. Although they play tightly, an unfortunately
dragging second half sees a lack of movement (an essential given the genre)
other than the sweat dripping from the musicians' faces. The Audience are
warned of an encore en route and the band leave the stage, presumably to
douse themselves in water and energy drinks, only to return and treat the
fans to another three songs with a second wind of gusto.
There's not a bad band in sight tonight although there are a couple
of ordinary moments that disappoint somewhat. Cobra Starship completely
stole the show and are likely to become big players come 2009.
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