The Gig: Zoobombs (part of Canadian Music Fest 2011)
Where: The Baitshop and Comfort Zone, Toronto, Ontario
When: Saturday 12 March 2011
In One Word: Heart
On Friday 11 March 2011 the world was shocked and moved by images of the devastating earthquake in Japan. A day later, the Zoobombs from Tokyo woke up in Toronto knowing that they had two Canadian Music Week showcases to play that day. The first of those showcases was a mid-afternoon slot at The Baitshop. This was my first time ever seeing and hearing the band, and what an occasion to seem them.
“Our hearts are in Japan.. we don’t really want to rock and roll today, it’s hard… but our hearts are here too… and we’ll try to put on a rock show for you. This is a new song we wrote for you Canada called “My Big Friend”…”, said an emotional frontman Don Matsuo at the start of the Zoobombs set. And the love began.
The energy and emotion inside the venue was incredible. You just had to be there. The Zoobombs already have an established following in Toronto and consider it a home from home. This was my first time ever seeing and hearing the band, and what an occasion to seem them. I was hooked from the first chord. So was everyone else: everyone who was at this show left as fan of the Zoobombs. The circumstances of the gig just amplified the emotions so much and made this show so, so powerful. You could not take your eyes off of Don Matsuo as he played with absolute unrestraint, putting so much emotion into every chomp at a chord, every yell into the microphone, every leap in the air, every fall on his knees. The Zoobombs filled the room with their music, which is pure punk rock in spirit but with changes in depth and direction of the music aided by a keyboardist and funky bassist.
I watched the entire Zoobombs set at The Baitshop from a viewing overhang directly above the spot where the band were playing on top of the halfpipe. As tempted as I was to move down to the ramp to get some cool photos from underneath while Don Matsuo lept around the stage to the joy of the fans watching below, I stayed put. The energy emitting from the band was so intense that most the crowd just stopped, stared and smiled. Everyone inside the place was smiling and digging every second. It was impossible not to love the Zoobombs.
I was a fan. I couldn’t wait to see them again sometime in the future. Luckily for me, the Zoobombs were playing again that night. The Zoobombs show at Comfort Zone late on Saturday night rocked just as hard, if not harder – though we all know the first time is always the best. The Comfort Zone gig ended with a packed-out venue demanding one more song and with bodies clamouring to get as close as they could to the stage to be inside the Zoobombs circle of noise and love. Amazing.
My favourite band of Canadian Music Week 2011. Big love to Zoobombs and big love to Japan. Heart on.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Pictures of the Zoobombs at The Baitshop and Comfort Zone:
Internet links: Zoobombs