Date: Friday 27th September 2019
Venue: The Key Club, Leeds
Supports: The Bottom Line
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After having a month without any gigs, one was definitely overdue and what better way to jump back in than seeing Zebrahead, one of my favourite live bands to watch. After seeing that the show had been moved from the University venue to the smaller Key Club, I was very excited as it meant that tonight’s show would be all the more intimate. Something that is usually a rarity, especially for a band the size of Zebrahead.
First up tonight as the main supports were London’s The Bottom Line. As the sole support tonight they had the unenviable task of warming up the crowd before Zebrahead. Unknown to me beforehand, it was great to see them live and with the crowd clearly in a good mood tonight the energy was matched by the band on stage. There was great crowd interaction and movement from the very first track, ‘She Makes Me’. The Bottom Line have a similar vibe and sound to Sum 41 and delivered an impressive performance. After announcing Leeds’s reputation as one of the loudest crowds, The Key Club definitely lived up to it by shouting back the chorus during new track ‘Over and Over’. As the set went on the energy kept on growing and by the time penultimate track ‘I Still Hate You’ came on the crowd were definitely in the party spirit with a circle pit opening up and everyone else bouncing along. As the band finished the last song it was clear that despite being the only support band they certainly worked the crowd. Definitely one that I’ll be adding to my pop-punk playlist for the future after a phenomenal opening set.
The Bottom Line
As the lights went down after a brief intermission it was finally time for tonight’s headliners to take to the stage. Bringing the party to really complete this Friday night were none other than Zebrahead. Despite seeing the band plenty of times before I’d never caught them on a headline show which mean so much more Zebrahead than I was used to. It was clear from the movement in the crowd during ‘Final Countdown’ before the band were even on stage that things were going to get sweaty real quick. Packing a huge 19 Songs into their hour and a half set list was dream for any Zebrahead fan with tracks coming from everywhere in their discography. When you throw in the bands usual tropes of the “Aliens” drinking and crowd surfing and the band doing shots as well as an on stage proposal (She said yes) and you have what can only be described as a perfect gig.
The crowd were clearly in the party spirit as they surged forward as the band started the show with new track ‘All my Friends are Nobodies’. And continuing the opening salvo with 2012’s ‘Call your Friends’ was a master stroke as everyone was bouncing by the time the band were two songs in. Tonight’s show brought with it a special event – Guitarist Dan Palmer’s Birthday. As Dan was born in Sheffield, the crowd responded perfectly with chants of Yorkshire filling the room while the band did shots before playing the brilliant ‘Sirens’. One notable moment for me was the playing of ‘Hell Yeah from The Phoenix album which was the first Zebrahead song that I ever listened to so it was great to see them play it live again. As the band closed out the main part of their set list it was a nice throwback to go with the one two of ‘Rescue Me’ and ‘Falling Apart’ to really bring the crowd up to a fever pitch to end the night in style. You’d be hard pressed to find a single person who was standing still.
As the band left the stage for a brief encore it made for a nice relief for the fans to get their breath back before the band launched into ‘Who brings a Knife to a Gunfight’ to take the energy back up immediately. Ending the night of perfectly Zebrahead finished off with arguably their most famous track the incredible ‘Anthem’. The whole crowd were bouncing in unison and it was clear just how much impact a band like Zebrahead have on their fans, there was a huge sense of community and fun all night. If you haven’t had chance to see Zebrahead live yet, I would recommend catching them at the earliest opportunity as they never fail to put on a fantastic live show.