Live: ZEBRAHEAD // O2 Academy Islington, London
Following the release of their 13th studio album, Brain Invaders, back in March, Zebrahead played a phenomenal, energy packed show at O2 Academy Islington.
With their new album the band brought an even wider dynamic to their setlist, including some much heavier songs which have blisteringly heavy verses and more punk style choruses. It’s somewhat surprising that the band only played three singles off their new album, We’re Not Alright, All My Friends Are Nobodies, and When Both Sides Suck, We’re All Winners, but they were so good performed live.
Coming onto the stage to The Final Countdown, Zebrahead rioted onto stage. Starting with All My Friends Are Nobodies, their songs were punchy and full of character. The energy on stage was unparalleled and continued throughout the entire set. The music served an intriguing contrast of punk, rock and surprisingly rap but it worked perfectly and translated exceptionally well live.
Part way through the first few songs the band was joined on stage by two people in alien costumes who proceeded to have a drinking contest. Lead singer Ali Tabatabaee also mentioned that a member of the security staff was celebrating their birthday. After asking what she wanted for her birthday from the band, Janet the security, asked if they could see how many crowd surfers they could get in one song. It was safe to say the number was incredibly high.
“We want a circle pit of couples”, guitarist Matty Lewis commanded as a pit opened up in the centre of the room which was bizarre yet amusing. Zebrahead’s crowd was lively to say the least and it was brilliant. Ali then revealed, “We are probably coming back in a few months.” If you missed the band this time around it seems as though you won’t be waiting long before your next chance to catch them.
Toward the end of the set the aliens were back but this time they attempted to clamber across the top of the crowd towards the sound desk, they didn’t make it but it was a valid attempt!
Later the band started playing an alternative version of Baby Shark changing it to “let’s do shots.” The band then proceeded to take a shot each. After this Zebrahead encouraged the crowd to carry crowd surfers in a circle around the pit which went surprisingly well.
Concluding with an impressive encore of Who Brings A Gun To A Knife Fight? and Anthem, Zebrahead’s set was incredibly fun and quirky from start to finish. From giant walls of death to circle pits that made you dizzy just looking at them, the night was chaotic in the best way possible.
Photos: Dani Willgress