The drummer and bass player of Reno, Nevada’s Cobra Skulls took the stage first for a quick sound check and instrument tuning. The bass player looked like he wandered straight out of a Flock Of Seagulls audition with his tight, acid washed jeans, sleeveless shirt, combat boots and perfectly coiffed Mohawk mullet remix hairdo. Though the image didn’t inspire me to take him too seriously, his stage presence and energy made me reconsider—especially when compared to his guitar playing counterpart. The guitar player drunkenly stumbled onstage, walked up to the mic and then continued to discuss with the crowd how drunk he was, citing a case of PBR as the excuse. He cracked a few jokes that failed with the audience and then the band started its set. Though the guitar player’s between-song antics weren’t incredibly amusing, he did a great job of singing some well done harmonies with the other two members, drunkenly succeeding at the task he was there to perform.
The group barreled through a blast of short pop-punk songs accompanied by walking country-esque bass lines and shuffle drumming. The guitar player’s drunken jokes continued, each time saved by a comment from the bassist whose annoyance grew a little after each occurrence. His technical abilities (as well as his knack of keeping his composure) made him the main focus of the show. Though the band was far away from its home turf, it had a nice-sized following at the show. I noticed a few people who sang along to every word of every song that the band played. Though this seemed like it might have been an off night, the band has definitely done something right in the past in order to gain a committed following over 2000 miles from home.