A friend who had never been to the Cobalt before Tuesday night asked me how many times I've played there. After doing some mental math and going down the laundry list of bands I've played in, I said, "35-40 shows, give or take." Fuck.
Playing at the Cobalt is always kind of strange. Everyone in Mossbreaker (except Kevin) has cut their teeth there as musicians. In fact, anyone that played punk, hardcore, metal and all sub-genres in between in the Valley, got their start playing to live audiences at that little club. The venue has gone through a lot since I started attending and playing shows there in 2001. Shows were awesome and shows were terrible. I think that hit-or-miss average coupled with the sheer volume of gigs that one plays there growing up is mostly why the Cobalt gets such a bad wrap. It's depressing and empty one night, but next time it's packed and people are crowding the stage.
It's also a lot like moving away after high school then coming home for the holidays and seeing a bunch of people you thought you had finally left behind. You feel so different yet it's as if no time has passed. It's very bittersweet. I'm glad the Cobalt is there still for up-and-coming local bands but I wish there was a better place to play in the area.
Well, two nights ago was no different than any other time I've played there. A bill full of great musicians plays to a 3/4 empty room on a weeknight. Regardless of the turnout, we had a great time. I always enjoy playing, no matter if it's to a crowd of 5 or 500. And we made some new friends in Koji, Allison Weiss and the awesome dudes in Lee Corey Oswald.
It's bands like that who make playing the Cobalt still worth it after all of these years.