Cobra Starship at The Carlu

Written and Photograph by Kylee Winn-Thurrott

On June 20th, 2012 Samsung held three launch parties in different cities, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, for their Galaxy III phone. They brought the bizarre with live music from The Sam Roberts Band playing in Montreal, Down With Webster in Vancouver and Cobra Starship in Toronto.

You were slapped with some blue flashing bracelets as you went through the doors of The Carlu. Ushered into an elevator by Samsung staff dressed in all black, it felt very top secret but at the same time exciting. As you walked through the hall, there was dancers on the sidelines dressed all in white, stations scattered around that gave you full access to mess around with the phone, and a candy buffet. The DJ played dubstep while the random crowd of 14-year-old Cobra fans, suits, and media folks mingled.

At 7pm the doors to the concert hall opened, where we were lured to the stage that had an artist dressed in all white, spray-painting a canvas. Hanging from the ceiling was a gymnast doing tricks on a ribbon and a swan dressed girl sitting in a hoop. This was a lot for a release of a phone. It also made me wonder; what are the Apple release parties like? The artist took an hour on stage to paint the phone, one black, one white, on the canvas.

8pm came and Cobra Starship took the stage. Their set started off with 2008 hit, “Good Girls Go Bad”. It’s been a mad few years for the New York Band. Their schedule has included opening up for Justin Bieber, performing on Miss USA and guest appearances on Gossip Girl. Toronto last saw Cobra two years ago, co-headlining a tour with 3OH!3 at The Sound Academy. It had seemed, judging by the fans, that were offered free ticket to show, we had forgotten about them. You could see the band struggling with keeping the audience’s attention by demanding everyone to do shots, Samsung had only offered us water bottles, and tirelessly asking the crowd to let out a screams. Lead singer, Gabe Saporta demanded shot after shot to be brought to the stage in celebration of being presented with the news that their single “You Make Me Feel” had gone double platinum in Canada. Saporta’s antics on stage seem to be rehearsed. The performance included songs from the latest album, Night Shades, as well as the two albums before that, but sadly not any from the first album. It can be overwhelming to suddenly be thrown into great success, Saporta made a speech about in the middle of the set. He explained that after their third album, Hot Mess, was released he found it hard and spoke openly about losing his long time girlfriend due to following his dreams.

With no plans to tour, it’s hard to say where Cobra Starship’s future is headed. Yes they did play a good show but it wasn’t unique, leaving the feeling that nothing changed from show to show. It seems its time for them to go back to the drawing board and figure out where to take this, now mainstream, band.

Cobra Starship’s latest single #NITE featuring My Name Is Kay is out now.

cobra starship

Sean Chin

Publisher & Chief Editor at Live in Limbo. Host & Producer of the Capsule Podcast. Lover of music, films and technology. Sean is a an award-winning photographer. His work has appeared on CBC, Pitchfork and MUCH. And has been involved in the Toronto music scene since 2005. You should follow him on Twitter @SeanChin.

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