Zebra Concert Review, McKinney, TX, December 12, 2015
I am a huge Zebra fan and have been since first hearing Who’s Behind the Door on the radio in 1983. I first saw them in 1987 on the 3.V tour headlining over Alcatrazz and Rough Cutt in Norfolk, VA at the famed Boathouse (RIP). I remember it rained like hell that night and it was only $5. Great show.
In 1996, I got to see Randy do a Zeppelin tribute with the Virginia Symphony. I’m no Zep fan but it was a good show. I got to meet Randy after the show and I don’t think anyone knew that it was him, but I did. Randy told me last night that was one of the first of the Zep shows he ever did with the Symphony.
The next time I saw them was in 2000 at Jaxx in Springfield, VA. I met Randy and Felix before the show and they gave me permission to film it. When I reviewed the video the next day, the picture was perfect…but there was no sound. I was pissed. Great show, though.
A Dallas area promoter named Don Wishon does some quality shows in the DFW area bringing acts like Rik Emmett, Damon Johnson and the 2 night stint with Zebra this weekend. Originally last night’s show was the only one announced and it sold out quickly. It was booked at The Sanctuary in McKinney, TX and ticketing was limited to 250 people to keep it intimate. A little while after, they announced a second show on the night before. So first was second and second became first. I bought 2 tix to the Saturday show and my pal, Rodney, said he’d use my extra ticket.
So yesterday we were off to the DFW area. We first stopped in Fort Worth at the new-ish Born Late Records and Tattoos to see what they had going. Rodney and I both know the owners and it was a pleasure to see what they’ve put together there. It’s almost a rock and roll museum as much as it is a store. Rodney found some records and an awesome huge new old stock Blue Oyster Cult poster. I picked up a sealed copy of Thin Lizzy’s Johnny the Fox on 8-track(!) and a couple of Brittany’s custom made coasters. Keep up with new items on their Facebook page.
Afterwards we drive to our hotel, check in and go next door for some tasty tacos at a sketchy little taqueria. Shortly after we head up to McKinney in the pouring rain. The venue was set up with some tables at the front of the stage, reserved seating behind them and then reserved tables lining the balcony with no real comfortable spots to stand and see the stage clearly. I had bought standing room only tix. I had noticed a table with only 2 people sitting there and asked them if we could use the speace on the other side of their table to stand at the rail and watch. They nice enough to let us join them and we took care of their drinks for the rest of the night.
Zebra comes on shortly after 8 opening with As I Said Before from their self-titled debut. The entire set was mixed up pretty well with songs from the debut, 3.V and IV, but only the title track from No Tellin Lies. They played some different songs from the night before which included both Bears and Wait Until the Summer’s Gone, my 2 faves from that album. Ugh. Would love to have heard those. But in the grand scheme it didn’t matter. The band sounded great and Randy’s voice is still quite strong with that falsetto.
Highlight songs for me include You’ll Never Know, Take Your Fingers From My Hair, Tell Me What You Want, Better Not Call and, of course, Who’s Behind The Door. They did lots from IV but not Arabian Nights, which I also love. They did play it the previous night, however.
It was a fun show and definitely a 30+…erm…primarily 40+ age group.
After the show, the band came out for a meet and greet. As stated earlier, I had met Randy and Felix before at the Jaxx show, but never Guy. I got my CDs signed quickly as I only needed Guy’s on them and Felix’s on two. When I got to Randy, I mentioned the previous shows. When I mentioned the ’87 show in Norfolk, he brightened up and said, “The Boathouse! Bill Reed promoted that show.” I knew Bill a little bit through the 90’s but was totally surprised that Randy remembered him and the venue. I mentioned to Randy that 3.V was my favorite and he whispered to me, “Mine, too.”
Going in I was hoping to buy a shirt until I saw them. NOPE. I’m often perplexed by the shirts that classic bands put out. I think the worst offenders may be the Scorpions. Personally, just give me a logo shirt with some tour dates or an album cover. But that’s just me.
Another great trip and thanks to Don for putting this on. We had to get up early as I needed to drop Rodney off at the airport for his trip to Vegas. I drove home in the pouring ass rain, at least until about Waco where it tapered off pretty well.