Nestled on a small side street, the deep blue lights highlighting the legendary Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park welcome pedestrians. Stepping through the double doors, you’re greeted by a stage and art covered walls. The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) independent venue keeps its doors open thanks to donations and booking shows for touring bands. By doing so, the café provides an all ages location to hold shows and space to sell one’s artwork. It’s been known that bands like AFI, Incubus and Linkin Park have shared the stage back in their earlier days. Dresses and Cumulus headlined this all ages show with local opening acts Kid Cadaver and The Unending Thread.
Throughout the night teens slowly made their way in. Earlier opening bands had a very intimate, open-mic vibe about them all with a thick side of sarcastic banter to the crowd. Backs unglued themselves from against the wall to inch closer for Kid Cadaver, a local Los Angeles band comprising of Ray Venta on bass and vocals, Kenzo Cardenas and his electric blue hair on drums and Jeremy Harris on guitars and vocals. The trio had a solid image and electronic sound. Their energetic presence helped animate the crowd from songs off their EP, New Modern. Technical difficulties, however, led the band to shorten their set, which was a letdown considering how well they were performing on stage.
On tour with Dresses, the Seattle natives Cumulus hopped on stage shortly after. Their indie pop sound serenaded the crowd as the usual foursome band was minimized down to frontwoman Alexandra Niedzialkowski and guitarist Lance Umble. Named after a type of cloud, it fit well with their airy, soft vocals and acoustic set. They opened up with “Little Ghost” off of their album I Never Meant For It To Be Like This. The crowd sang along to other tracks off their album such as “Do You Remember” and “Wanderlust”– the latter seemed to be a crowd favorite.
Up next was the highly anticipated Dresses. In the same fashion, instead of providing a full band, Dresses played an intimate acoustic set for their fans. At this point the small DIY venue was packed with fans, friends and the rest of the bands who had opened up for Dresses. With or without a full band, the Portland natives still stole hearts and harmonies with each song. Both Jared Ryan Maldonado and Timothy Heller charmed the crowd, cracking jokes and even complied with shoutout requests for cover songs. Maldonado and Heller’s connection and combination of interaction with the audience and stage presence was more than the crowd could ask for. Their personalities shined under the dimly lit stage. Their acoustic rendition of their song “Sun Shy” was incredibly enchanting and showcased both Maldonado and Heller’s vocals. Their covers of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You” gave the song poetic folk justice. With a smile and a modest bow, Dresses hopped off stage and carried on into the night to greet friends and fans.
Tell A Lie
Back to Life
Friends are Dead
Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean Cover
Blew My Mind