I first heard of the Spittin’ Cobras (members of Murdock and Jules Hodgson of KMFDM) from the owners of Royal Booze and Burritos, who told me the band’s wild show at their opening party provoked noise complaints and knocked things off the walls. One exasperated neighbor dumped a box of kitty litter onto their patio. A server told me that was the night he became a Spittin’ Cobras fan.
While I’d usually prefer not to dance in cat poop, I wish my first Spittin’ Cobras show was in an overheated, tequila soaked room instead of the Exhibition Hall Stage, which made me feel like I was playing a video game about watching a metal band. It had the particular artificiality of music festivals that normally makes me avoid them—bands at Bumbershoot always seem weirdly out of context.
The stage in the cavernous Exhibition Hall was barnacled with expensive lights, speakers and constantly roving video cameras. It was strange to encounter the smell of a fog machine without the sweat and beer smell that usually accompany it. The audience was mainly young teenagers wearing curious combinations of classic metal T-shirts and baseball caps. Near the beer garden a very young boy breakdanced while an older man with a white pony tail shone a green light on him.
The Spittin’ Cobras played a totally proficient and entertaining set. Singer Alx Karchevsky climbed the scaffolding, crowd surfed, and lifted a little girl onto his shoulders who looked like she would stay delighted for the rest of her life. Yet the band was barely able to inspire tepid head bobbing. It wasn’t their fault—there’s just something weird about going to a metal show at 1 PM in space that looks like it should contain a yacht show.