Cobalt Cafe Photo Gallery

By Stacey Avnes, 13, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies
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The Cobalt Cafe in Canoga Park is the most awesome place to hang out and listen to undiscovered local bands, without the outrageous concert prices. On most nights a show, which has five to seven bands, costs $8 to $10. Although the bands play mainly punk and rock music, I, one of the most pop music girls ever, have a blast. The people at the Cobalt have all different styles—punk, emo, Harajuku, and even jeans and T-shirts. Although I’m usually the only preppy person there, I feel like I belong.

When I heard the name “Cobalt Cafe,” I imagined a small place with tables and chairs, where poets and emo guitarists perform. From the moment I walked in I knew I was wrong. When you step inside you are looking at a grungy basement, with walls painted black, torn furniture, an ugly patterned carpet and a stage. In the back, where the bands hang out before they go on, the walls are covered with graffiti. The bathrooms are like that too. When I went to my first show a year ago, I wrote “Stacey waz here” on the back of the bathroom door in eyeliner. Recently I looked on the back of the door, and my personal graffiti was still there!

I first went to the Cobalt Cafe, which is all ages, for a school fundraiser. When I saw the fliers, I thought it was cool that there was a place where teenagers could hang out. Since I live in the Valley, it’s hard to find a place where you can listen to music and hang out with people your age. It was even more than I expected because it’s homey and the music was cool and unusual, something you wouldn’t hear on the radio. When I’m there I feel like I’m in a friend’s garage listening to music.

The Cobalt has exposed me to a new genre of music. Now I listen to hard rock, like Nirvana and Evanescence, a little more than I do pop. One time I saw a hard rock band called Walking The Gray that was rockin’! They were getting up close to the audience and singing to us. The lead singer had a strong, loud voice and the drums, guitar and bass were powerful.

I’ve also gone to an indie show where everyone was lounging on couches listening to the music. It was good, soft like Tori Amos. Recently I went to a show where punk bands were playing and a lot of people were jumping around in the mosh pit. On the Cobalt’s website, you can find links to a lot of the bands’ MySpace pages to hear the type of music they play. Also every Sunday night they have a Battle of the Bands. For information about the Cobalt and for show dates, go to