Detroit Cobras / Subatomics New City, Edmonton AB - May 3 and 5, 2006

How does it feel to have a trio of 16-year-olds kick your ass? It’s not even clear if Detroit Cobras singer Rachel Nagy fully understood that they were shamed by their opening acts, even after underage Subatomics singer Rene Wilson was up again dry-humping the headliners’ guitarist Mary Ramirez from behind. If you’re gouging people 25 bucks to see a set of entirely ’50s rock and Motown cover songs — i.e., reruns — you might want to not do the following: stop songs obsessively to have "band meetings” to chew out your replacement drummer and bassist; wear mom jeans and a sweatshirt, and suck on your drink all night; roll your eyes like a little debutante and yell, "What the fuck is going on here?” as your sulky energy drains the last couple dozen fans you have left in the city; blame a top-level sound guy like John Rubuliak for your woes then pretend to be sick after the gig while waiting for the heavy drugs you ordered. Shredded by Nagy’s claws, the drummer sounded like he was building a doghouse. "This is even worse than the last show!” wasn’t some subtle observation — it was yelled in their faces as the crowd tried to stay loyal. Nagy is very pretty, her voice exceptional. But to come on and play only 45 minutes two nights after an abysmal street vibe without having learned a lesson is, literally, a fucking rip-off. I’ve seen bands rock under laryngitis or parents dead the night before. So what’s up, Ms. Nagy? How is it that so many of us are pissed now when we hear your name? We walked in with crushes. I mean, a restaurant was dissing you on its sidewalk board the next morning: "Just another cover band, no Cobras in here.” Well?