21st Century Boys
(Written in March 2001)
It was a real pleasure to see Cobra Verde live at the Parish in New Orleans on Sunday March 17th, 2001. This Cleveland band is led by John Petkovic. Wider audience had several chances to hear about them. They never fail to get four stars at The Rolling Stone, and it was a big news in 1997 when Robert Pollard of the Guided By Voices decided to fire all of the original members of the band and hire Cobra Verde to finish his visions on the Mag Earwig album. Cobra Verde had some personnel changes because of that, but they fell on their legs and continued even stronger. Album Nightlife came out in 1999, brought a large variety of sounds and styles. Some bands go through less changes throught their career then Cobra Verde in only one album. In a better world, Nightlife would set completely new standards for rock’n’roll.
All of the Cobra Verde qualities were confirmed live on this concert. Although the problem with sound in The Parish is ongoing and for some reason voice always gets burried behind instruments, one could fully enjoy in the sound they offered. Amazing coordinace between the drummer and the bass player made possible for the guitar player (who looks like a Ron Wood miniature), to play over the rhytm together with the thereminist and keyboardist who was really wild on the stage. Everything was under Petkovic’s supervision and he as
a frontman is something that is not an everyday sight.
Stylistically, Cobra Verde owns a lot to the glam rock of the seventies, but there the sound of the live performance is much more straight forward, the way it really is supposed to be in a rock’n’roll band. Much of the sound is quite original, which really makes these guys the first and the best band of the 21st century. Really! We’re talking about the future of rock’n’roll here…
In the middle of their original songs they played on of the jewels of the past, an extremely important song Treat Her Right written by Roy Head, and performed by hundreds of others throught the history. The song went specially for your lighthouse keeper, which is one of the biggest honors that anyone ever did for me.