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Cobras, Hormones, Kids and Sass Come Together in Fun Week at Hartford

Webster Theatre had a calendar full of events that past week including singer/songwriters, metal bands and yes, the occasional pop/punk/emo/alternative band. Wednesday night, the Sassy Back Tour invaded downtown Hartford, complete with confetti, powerful lights and screaming girls.

Sing It Loud was the first act of the night playing some catchy songs, but most importantly helping to pump the crowd up. The one song of theirs you may of heard of is called “Bite Your Lip.” Back sometime last year this was an iTunes single of the week and of course to that chorus the crowd new every word to it.

Next on the bill was the highly anticipated Hit the Lights who sport hit singles such as “Body Bag,” and “Speakers Blown,” rocked the crowd with a blend of high energy antics and great pleasing songs. Lead singer Nick Thompson wore a Los Angeles Dodger cap on stage, clearly not realizing he was in New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox country, but was still adored by the majority of pre-pubescent teens.

Odd to me was the fact that the band used their two most known songs, “Body Bag,” and “Speakers Blown,” within the first few songs of their set. Common practice in the art of opening for larger acts is to save one of your really hits for the final song of the 7-9 song set. Hit the Lights definitely put on a good show and got the crowd ready for another band with an awkwardly long name.

It was my first time seeing Forever the Sickest Kids and I was pretty impressed. Leaving aside the fact that the lead singer looks identical to the frontman of All Time Low, they carry a uniqueness to them. They come off as being urban punk kids, but put on a show that screams emo (with tracks like “Catastrophe,” and “My Worst Nightmare”). Still Forever the Sickest Kids pulled a common cliche as they broke out a song they recorded for the 2008 record “Punk Goes Crunk,” Will Smiths “Men In Black.” The song was well received, although most of the younger kids in the audience wouldn’t know that Will Smith sang the song originally if it were plastered on the wall.

Finally the headlining act of the night was non other than New York City’s own Cobra Starship. Cobra Starship is an example of a band that got the right people behind them at the right time. Being close with Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) and Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) has skyrocketed Cobra Starship to the top of the genre.

Before starting the “Sassy Back Tour,” (a pun to Justin Timberlakes “Sexyback Tour”), they played alongside Gym Class Heroes on the Vans Warped Tour. The band has always had a way of making jokes of other people songs and styles. This includes but is not limited to writing a song titled “I Kissed a Boy,” (poking at Katy Perry), and their own version of “Hollaback Girl,” titled you guessed it, “Hollaback Boy.”

All joking aside, Gabe Saporta, sporting a plaid sweatshirt (later replaced by a suit jacket during the encore), rocked the house with familiar songs such as “Kiss My Sass,” “Guilty Pleasure,” and “The City at War.” Interestingly enough, much of the crowd that had been in attendance during the first three acts did disperse before Cobra, but nonetheless their loyal fans stuck around and were treated to an excellent show.

The crowd seemed satisfied with the show at the historic Webster Theatre, even as many of the kids stuck around after the show talking with Nick Thompson and other members of the opening bands. Many of these youngsters were pulled to the cars by their parents who had come along to chill at the bar, and climb into the teenage pop scene.

Half a week later the hormones were back at Webster, this time in the form of moms and college girls. They had all showed up on a Sunday evening to check out Matt Nathanson and Jessie Baylin, two accomplished singer/songwriters.

Matt Nathanson was extremely funny when he took the stage, making jokes about the tremendous heat inside Webster Theatre that night, and about his many journey’s on tour with various bands. Among the highlights of the night were a version of “Detroit Waves,” featuring “Kids of America,” in the middle.

Also that night we heard his take on “Laid,” which was also recorded for “American Wedding,” and a cover of Bryan Adams hit “Summer of ’69.” Matt wrapped up the show with “Come On Get Higher,” before finally closing with a cover of one of the great songs in American classic rock; Ac/Dc’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

The crowd was very pleased with the performance, and the appearance of Matt, as they waited for him after the show. This ended a very fun week at Webster Theatre with more to come. Next weekend Relient K and State Radio will both perform to a packed house.

There are pictures up right now in older posts from this concert, check them out here:

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