Zebrahead return to Europe once more and bring the rock to Rock City
The Orange County band embarked upon this tour without lead guitarist Greg Bergdorf, who was taking a bit of time off having just become a father. Temporarily replacing him for this European visit was Death By Stereo guitarist Dan Palmer; a great stand-in with rather an eccentric style of facial hair. Added to the fact that drummer Ed Udhus had trekked over to the UK despite having broken his hand, the odds seemed to be against Zebrahead. However even after 14 years, these lads still obviously love what they do and nothing was going to hold them back.
Despite being restricted to a support slot, the Californian quartet still managed to squeeze a number of fan-favourites into their set, with 'Postcards From Hell' and 'Anthem' remaining particularly spirited thanks to the ever-effective relationship between vocalist Ali Tabatabaee and vocalist/guitarist Matty Lewis. Zebrahead's mid-set request for six circle pits during their Britney Spears cover, 'Oops I did It Again,' may have been somewhat ambitious for the bustling Rock City venue, but it was worth a try.
Opening for ska-punk icons Less Than Jake is no easy task, but Zebrahead stuck true to their upbeat, energy-thriven style and ensured that the crowd were suitably warmed up in preparation for the headlining act. Songs such as 'Jag Off' were particularly well-received and the danceable qualities of the quintet's music clearly struck a chord with any newcomers.
For anyone that has seen Zebrahead before (particularly within recent years), there were many familiar show features to be seen, such as the request for audience members to participate by shouting, "Woo! Minge!" during 'Playmate of the Year'. Also in typical Zebrahead fashion, Tabatabaee eventually removed his shirt to reveal a well-toned upper-body, much to the delight of the female fans in attendance, and bassist Ben Osmundson continued to drench everyone on the front row by spitting all over them.
If you attend concerts because you expect to see a stage show and a band that strives to reinvent themselves for every tour, Zebrahead are unlikely to be your cup of tea. However if you go because you love the band and their music, then Zebrahead still continue to deliver fantastic high-energy live shows and should be nearing the top of your list of 'must-see' bands.