This past Thursday, I had the awesome chance to check out singer Cobi perform at the Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco. He was the second opening act for the Augustines, a band I wish I was able to stick around for, but I digress. I’ve only heard of Cobi’s one trending song through Spotify, titled “Don’t Cry For Me”, which surprisingly many other concertgoers listened to as well.
If you’re unfamiliar with one of the many concert venues in the San Francisco area, Bottom of The Hill is a little hole in the wall where mostly indie or up-and-coming bands perform. It’s not the fanciest place but it’s not a complete dump either. I’ve been to my fair share of shows there and from my experience, it’s one of the best intimate venues I’ve been to. You can pack at least 80 people in there, anything over that capacity and you’ll feel like you’re trapped.
I walked in the middle of Sea Knight’s set, a little band straight from San Francisco. They were about two songs away from heading off stage but from what I heard, I didn’t hate it. The lead singer has some great vocals. I can’t even put a finger on what genre or type of music this band is. The best way I would describe them is West Coast chill (What is that even?) with a mix of shoegaze and psychedelia.
After they got off stage, I inched my way to the front of the stage. That’s the good thing about heading to a show alone, you don’t have to worry about pushing a whole bunch of people around since it’s just you and you won’t take up that much space, compared to bringing a pack of friends. Sad to say though, I was standing next to an intoxicated group who just loved to talk the whole way, through everything. I’ll bite my tongue on that one. I could never diss on someone who’s had some booze in them.
Meanwhile, Cobi and his band are setting up their stage, figuring out the accurate sound for the drums and consistent mic checks. It appears that they didn’t have a sound check earlier in the day but for a small window to set up, they got their stuff together pretty fast. Without even a proper introduction such as, “Hi guys” “HELLO SAN FRANCISCO!” or even a, “OK, we’re starting”, Cobi hits the first song capturing pretty much everyone’s attention who wasn’t even looking at the stage in the first place.
Mind you, the only song known to the internet world at the moment is “Don’t Cry For Me” so all songs were fair game, brand new. We were all introduced to his music from “Roll with the Wind” to “Who’s Here Gonna Save Me.” And look, I’ve read quick articles here and there about his performances but DAMN. Cobi commanded the stage. He doesn’t even bicker on and on with “filler talk” as I like to call it. His interaction with the audience is so little but in a way that tells a lot about him. He ain’t about making you happy, he’s all about making sure he gets his music out there. He ain’t playin’.
Just at the halfway point of his set, he announces it’s his birthday, so naturally, the crowd greets him with a huge “Happy Birthday” song. Whatta way to be welcomed to San Francisco, am I right? Without breaking a beat, he says thanks and moves to his next song “Cosmopolitan Man.”
What I was so in awe about was he really got into his music. I’m not talking just through hitting every impossible note I could never reach in my lifetime, but you can tell he loved playing the guitar. More often than not, Cobi broke out in small guitar riffs and absolutely shredded it. He even went a bit more into the crowd to get all up in your face to show you he’s the real deal. His facial expressions showed it all, he was way into his music.
I can go on and keep saying his vocals were amazing but I can’t even explain it. You know how sometimes when you go to a show and you want to blame the speakers for being completely whack even though it was probably just the performer disappointing you? This wasn’t the case. I heard every note, every lyric so perfectly and it was so strong. To be honest, this was one of the best opening acts I’ve seen in a while.
To say he’s a humble guy is an understatement. Sure, it’s obvious that he knows he could use music as a vessel to get his thoughts and emotions out there. However, he comes off as the type of artist who won’t shove that thought down your throat almost a thousand times in one show. He gets his music out there, he does his set, he says his hellos, he says his honest thank yous, he’s off the stage.
If you ever in your life get the chance to catch Cobi perform, go. Go now before he becomes a huge hit and you regret not going when I told you to.