Friday, July 31, 2009

Suck It Up

Black Cobra
Thee Parkside, San Francisco

July 30, 2009

At 9:57PM this was the dilemma I found myself in:
  1. One of my favorite bands was playing (Black Cobra).
  2. A couple of my friends were playing (Black Cobra).
  3. A band had put me on their guest list (Black Cobra).
So, despite being wiped out from the previous day's epic Metal Road Trip and adventure at The Magical Place, I sucked it up and rolled the Prius out of Casa de Umlaut at around 10:30PM... but not before making some coffee. Dude, I was TIRED... but I sucked it up and made my way to The Rock Show because that's what a FAN and a FRIEND does to support a band.. Seriously. Carpe diem, mofos!

Photo Ray had left the carnival coke mirrors that he'd won at the California Mid-State Fair the night before in my car, and by morning had decided he had no place for them. We all have to make hard decisions in life sometimes, man.. Unfortunately, I'm not in a good place right now to adopt a pair of carnival coke mirrors, so upon arriving at Thee Parkside I left the mirrors on the sidewalk across the street from the club and hoped some kindly (probably homeless) soul would take them and provide a good home for them. Bye bye carnival coke mirrors! Godspeed you magnificent bastards... godspeed..

ANYWAY... I made my way inside the crowded club and was immediately glad I'd decided to venture out. Within minutes I'd met up with Rafa, Jason, Justin, Dave, Billy as well as other local Music / Metal types who are considered friends of this space. The party on the patio out back was in full swing as Giant Squid were onstage, but I spent most of the time talking bizness with Justin at the merch table... Then, as Black Cobra were setting up, a bear wearing a Black Cobra shirt got the crowd primed by dancing with bar patrons as the house DJ played some Funk.

(Pic by Umlaut)

It was pretty funny... but at approximately 12:25AM it was time for The Volume to begin as Rafa and Jason commenced their set. You know, there are only a few bands over the years who have inspired me to use the term "force of nature" when attempting to describe their live performances; Black Cobra are one of those bands. It's the only analogy that fits for me... and perhaps I'm just lazy, but I use that description every time I "write" about them.. but it just fits what they create so perfectly. While watching them I always subconsciously want to grab onto the nearest thing that's bolted to the floor to prevent from being swept away on a wave of violent, brutal volume.

(Pic by Umlaut)

Thankfully I got up front in time to get a spot against the wall at stage left, which made standing up in my exhausted state that much easier... and I have to note that Black Cobra's up front fanbase seemed to be divided just about 50/50 between dudes and chicks, which I found interesting; their power speaks to everyone. The dynamic duo played an insanely tight 45 minute set that pretty much leveled the neighborhood and my head.. I then said a few quick goodbyes to folks (call me, dudes!) and it was back to The Prius for the quick drive back to Casa de Umlaut and SLEEP.

Epilogue: The carnival coke mirrors were gone from where I'd left them. I hope they are happy in their new home as I type this. Tap, tap, tap.... tap... snort.

Black Cobra's new album for the mighty Southern Lord Records (titled Chronomega) is slated for a worldwide release on September 29th. Rafa and Jason will celebrate the release with a 17-date tour in September / October of Japan and Australia, including a show in Tokyo with Coffins (!) and several shows in Australia with Nick Oliveri. You go, boyz! In the meantime, the band's 2006 Bestial CD was just given a deluxe reissue in Japan by Red Cobalt with new cover art by Alan Forbes as well as other premium extras. It sounds like a beautiful release... now if only someone can get me a copy (hint, hint..).

I didn't do a merch audit since I was basically hanging out with friends.. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. According to the Umlaut Archives this was my 44th gig so far this year... Hope I die before I get old.