Hip-hop, dance-pop light up the Grog Shop

Zach Wilson


Credit: Jason Hall

For one night, Cleveland was home to an animal not often seen in northeast Ohio.

Cobras were loose at the Grog Shop.

Gym Class Heroes, with support from Snakes on a Plane-darlings Cobra Starship, New York City’s own hip-hop act Hangar 18 and rock outfit Patent Pending played Sept. 21 to a filled room of aesthetically similar teens.

Patent Pending opened the show playing a punk-rock/ska hybrid in the vein of Less Than Jake. Their tongue-in-cheek humor set the theme for the night, as the speakers blared songs showcasing the mindset of the band. Songs such as “Cheer Up Emo Kid” and “This Can’t Happen Again” got the crowd moving and clearly offended a number of the “emo” kids in attendance who then resided at the back of the crowd.

Hangar 18 then introduced the crowd to its unique brand of humorous hip-hop, with one song in particular standing out. “Bar Hop,” a song recounting a wild night for members Wind n’Breeze and Alaska, got the crowd moving and laughing all at once. The opening line, “my vocal patterns are the patrons at local taverns” was ironically fitting for the venue, as a fair amount in attendance looked close to being inebriated by this point in the night.

Cobra Starship came out next, planning on spreading its brand of eccentric dance-pop to the masses. Lead singer Gabe Saporta, looking like an iced-out version of any teen in attendance, hasn’t missed a beat since his days with emo outfit Midtown, nailing every note and getting the crowd involved with a wall of dance beats and oddball lyrics.

“Keep it Simple,” “The Church of Hot Addiction” and “The Ballad of Big Poppa and Diamond Girl” flooded the Grog Shop with more than enough pop to make the crowd move. “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)” was easily the crowd-favorite of the night, warranting an appearance from Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes, who contributed vocals to the soundtrack version of the song.

Gym Class Heroes then proceeded to close the show on a good note, blending indie with hip-hop seamlessly to those still in attendance after the mass exodus following Cobra Starship. Lead singer Travis didn’t miss a beat, performing songs both new and old such as “Papercuts” and “The Queen and I.” Gym Class Heroes truly gave justice to the excellent sound system that night, filling the room with smooth beats and flowing lyrical poetry.

Snakes may have been the theme for many that night, but this reviewer will be fighting another slithering animal. The beats inside his head.

Contact Off-campus entertainment beat reporter Zach Wilson at [email protected].