This past Sunday popular Atlanta music venue The Tabernacle was once again transformed into a pop punk jam fest with the OP Presents Boys Like Girls Tour, along with fellow acts Cobra Starship, The Maine, A Rocket to the Moon and VersaEmerge Tour. While Boys Like Girls were the headlining group, many left feeling that Cobra Starship deserved that spot.
VersaEmerge and A Rocket to the Moon were the two first opening acts. These are the two newest additions to the Fueled by Ramen record label, home to other bands like Fall Out Boy and The Academy Is….
VersaEmerge is a band originating from Port St. Lucie, Florida, and is known for the powerful vocals of their lead singer Sierra Kusterbeck, who joined the band when she was only 16. Despite being the smallest group with probably the least amount of fans in attendance, they played their hardest and delivered an energetic and enjoyable set.
Next was A Rocket to the Moon, a band formed by lead singer Nick Santino in 2006. They rose to fame quickly through lucky breaks at the Bamboozle musical festival and MTV’s now-defunct Total Request Live. Their opening song was AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and it succeeded in firing up the growing crowd. Their debut album is out now and includes the hit track “Dakota” which is a must-have on anyone’s iPod.
The Maine hails from Phoenix, Arizona, fronted by lead singer John O’Callaghan. They formed in 2007 and have quickly risen to fame, playing at the Vans Warped Tour during the summer of 2008. Their set was energetic and really got the crowd going, especially with their cover of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” which transformed the venue into a college band party. Their debut album is a must have for any pop punk enthusiast, full of infectious upbeat songs that are perfect for running.
Next came the band that most of the audience was there to see, Cobra Starship. This band was formed by lead singer Gabe Saporta after he grew tired of singing emo songs with his former band Midtown. As told in early press interviews, Saporta was in the desert on a spiritual quest when a cobra wearing a space helmet bit him in the neck. This left him hallucinating for a week before he finally came out of the haze, upon which the cobra was still there and advised him to not take himself so seriously and start a band that was all about having fun. He left the desert and Cobra Starship was born.
The band’s sound is a mixture of synthesizers and guitars along with catchy hooks and fun party lyrics that include song titles such as “Damn You Look Good and I’m Drunk (Scandalous)” and “Kiss My Sass.”
Additionally, their stage presence is amazing. Saporta’s strong vocals combined with his dance moves, Vicky T’s keytar playing, Ryland Blackington’s jokes, and Alex Suarez’s funny monologues all helped to keep the audience engaged and contributed to a great show. There was not a single person standing still in the venue.
After Cobra Starship many people seemed to be filing out, further proving that Cobra Starship should have been the headlining act. To be fair, Boys Like Girls did a great job too, and lead singer Martin Johnson delivered amazing vocals. They just didn’t have the stage presence that Cobra Starship did.