Live and Local: Buttercup at the Cobalt Club

click to enlarge Erik Sanden on the Cobalt Club bar around 7:45 a.m. this morning
Erik Sanden on the Cobalt Club bar around 7:45 a.m. this morning

"Thank you, good morning!" yelled frontman Erik Sanden at the end of Buttercup's Daybreaker gig. In a hypnagogic state, compounded by a touch of morning alcohol and the feeling of seeing something very unique, Buttercup's performance at the Cobalt Club was one of the best shows I've seen since coming to San Antonio. 

It's a simple concept, but one that's taken a long time to execute. Cobalt Club, that daytime fortress of vice on McCullough, opens at 7 a.m. Buttercup, always looking for the next foolish way to up themselves, booked a gig for the opening hour. 

The dive of dives was surprisingly packed, with people wrapped around the center island of the Cobalt bar. "The question is: who just woke up and who's been up?" asked Blayne Tucker, managing partner of Do210. Given the number of pajamas and Panama Jack apparel in the crowd, it's probably the former, though I did catch a few whiffs of breath that betrayed the evidence of an all-nighter. Either way, the Cobalt supplied Taco Cabana breakfast tacos in those odd TC pizza boxes. Did they design those just to confuse stoners?

At the back of the bar, Buttercup charted through an hour of idiosyncratic pop. In footy pajamas and work clothes, the San Anto vets pulled off their impossibly specific tunes, riding the vibe of one of their best shows in years (Sanden claimed it was the second best show they ever played). Towards the end of their set, singing of a love/hate relationship with alcohol, Sanden hopped on the bar, strut around, shot some tequila and did a surprising number of pushups.

This morning, the relationship with booze tipped toward love. Though in a few hours when he's suffering through a brunch hangover, it may be hate again.