Hands up if you thought Cobra Starship would still be allowed to be the kick-off performer of the general VMA ceremonies in the year 2011. Alas, the Dr. Luke-sounding “You Make Me Feel” has briefly reintroduced the Fall Out Boy-gone-fratboy synth-rockers to the mainstream, so they get to deliver the pre-show’s first performance, along with West Coast singer/rapper Sabi, whose two high-profile-but-subpar guest appearances on songs by Cobra Starship and Britney Spears belie the fact that her debut single is actually pretty good.
Anyway, song quality aside, it’s not a bad choice for kick-off song, and Cobra Starship are unsurprisingly game for the performance. Lead singer Gabe Saporta and Sabi start the song sashaying from side stage to side stage, looking like two very enthusiastic karoake performers (and sounding like them at times, too, especially Sabi), with Gabe even pausing to shake Wiz Khalifa’s hand on the way. (Wiz’s silent reaction: “Yeah, whatever.”) Eventually they get to the rest of Cobra Starship, who now wear suits with skinny ties but have not yet foresaken the douchey sunglasses, and have a minute or so of solid rocking—keytar thankfully included.
“That was incredible!” rhapsodizes Sway afterwards. “So much energy, so much energy…” Incredible is a strong word for anything Cobra Starship-related, but the energy thing is kinda hard to dispute.