It is frustrating when a remarkable performance goes unappreciated, especially when you knew in advance that the band was going to rock. Zoogma rocked out at Wakarusa in 2010. Since then this reviewer has been eagerly awaiting another chance to check out this epic, rage-worthy band performing live. The only thing to rival how impressive last night’s set, was the small, slow-to-arrive audience of music lovers. The crowd only really arrived around midnight, unfashionably late, considering the great music they all missed out on. But, like the professionals the are, the four-piece band played with all their might even when there were fewer people on the dance floor than there were on stage.
Zoogma combines the techno-sounds of a Drum and Bass DJ with the aggressive force of a rock and roll outfit, taking influences from many other styles to make something invigorating and inspired. From jazzy, funky guitar riffs to head-banging bass lines and drum beats, delving into psychedellic interludes and booty-shaking hip-hop rhythms, this band does it all and interlaces every style into a single song. Their tunes are so jam-packed with diversity that a listener’s ears can barely register everything they hear.
On top of the magnificent blend of genres and carnal energy of the music, this band comes along with a lights show to match their moody music. Colors and patterns change with every movement of every song, overwhelming any audience and carrying them away. As far as attaining a meaningful concert ‘experience’ goes, Zoogma gives the crowd something so all-encompassing and hypnotic that it can be both stimulating and exhausting (in a good way).
The Bottleneck had a medium sized crowd scattered across the bar, including a good many people playing pool and sitting around away from the stage. But the dance floor was tragically empty for the first half of this band’s set. Just a few brave souls who could appreciate the awe-inspiring music were out getting their groove on. Fortunately as the band played on, more folks arrived late to the party, and the dance floor began to liven up. Still, Zoogma deserved far better. This was the bands second time in Lawrence. With any luck they will come again and get a better crowd.
Now for Previews:
This Friday, March 9th, Chicago Afrobeat Project will play at the Bottleneck! Any fans of funk, rock, jazz, afro-cuban, high life and juju music need to be there!
Then Thursday, March 15th, Galactic will be playing at Liberty Hall! This show is going to be one of the biggest events so far this year! Buy your tickets in advance, because this will sell out!
See you out there!