The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Posts Tagged ‘zebra

Zebra Concert Review, Houston, TX, June 11, 2016

leave a comment »

Zebra played last night in Houston at Concert Pub North.  They were fantastic.  Even though I had just seen them in December 2015 in Dallas, I wanted to see them again.  I love this band a ton.

Additionally, a show was announced a few miles away at BFE Rock Club with Jeff Scott Soto (JSS) performing.  JEFF SCOTT SOTO.  It was touted that he was performing with Houston locals Azrael’s Bane.  My plan was see both depending on set times, ot catching half of each show.  Jeff’s vocal performances on the first 2 Yngwie albums coupled with seeing him in 1986 have made him one of my favorite singers, although much of his post-Yngwie stuff has left me flat sans a few things here and there.

Before checking into the hotel I stopped in at BFE and talked with one of the folks that worked there.  He said to come back around 6PM as they’d likely start soundcheck around that time.  I got back there at 545PM and people were setting up for a birthday party which is the reason JSS was in town.  After he greeted some folks and took some pictures, I got a few moments to speak with him.  I showed him The Book and mentioned that he was in there 4 times.  He laughed and said, “Only 4?  Oh, pre-1991, that sounds about right.”  He signed it and I mentioned that ’86 show as being the only time I had ever seen him live.  “Funny, Boals and I replaced each other in that band!”  I told him that I was in town to see Zebra but wanted to make time to see his show as well.  “What show?  I’m not playing tonight.”  He proceeded to tell me that the venue mis-advertised it as a gig and he was only going to sit in for a few songs.  “Go enjoy Zebra and come back and hang out after.”  He signed my Yngwie stuff and gave me a guitar pick, snapped a picture and off I went to my hotel.  It was pretty awesome meeting one of my all time faves.

After a short nap at the hotel, I went to Concert Pub, had a quick dinner while the opener was on and then met some friends there for the show.  I was told at first that they were going on at 11PM, but an announcement was made shortly after that they would be playing two sets.  STOKED.

I’ll just say that aside from the time I saw them in 1987, last night was the second best of the 4 times that I have seen them.  The AC at the venue wasn’t working properly and it was very hot and humid, but Zebra was on their game.  They tore the roof off of the place.  Randy’s vocals were in excellent shape.  They played everything I wanted to hear and it was good getting some of the ones they didn’t play in December.

Great show all around.  And a great day overall after getting to meet Jeff.


Written by The Metal Files

June 12, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Zebra Concert Review, McKinney, TX, December 12, 2015

leave a comment »

I am a huge Zebra fan and have been since first hearing Who’s Behind the Door on Imageusethe 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.



Written by The Metal Files

December 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Who’s behind the Door?

with 2 comments

I’ve always loved Zebra and considered them a severely underrated rock band.  I first heard them on the radio when I first heard Who’s Behind the Door on Norfolk’s K-94 in 1983.  I was instantly hooked

That debut album is pretty righteous from beginning to end.  Randy Jackson has a great vocal range and is a solid guitar player.  The album flows very well.

A year later they release No Tellin’ Lies which was not quite as strong of a release.  They had some minor success with the slightlygoofy song Bears (worst video ever?).  Sure, I like the song but it was a bit silly.

For me they struck gold again with their third album 3.V in 1986.  I bought the cassette at Roses department store for $6.99 and was immediately hooked.  It’s a very polished album and pretty radio friendly, but the hooks are there.

Zebra IV came out in 2003 and again they released another quality album.  Highly recommended if you’re even mildly a fan.

I was fortunate enough to see the 3.V tour in 1986.  I’ll never forget it.  Cold rainy night…torrential rain even…A former friend from high school didn’t want to go out in the rain and get his hair messed up(just kidding)  so i went alone.  I already had really bad hair back then so it was no big deal to me.  Plus it was $5!  FIVE BUCKS! (Ren and Stimpy reference).  The lineup Alcatrazz (post-Yngwie/Vai era), Rough Cutt (Duke Fame!) and Zebra headlining.  I think there may have been 100 people there if that.  It was at the Boathouse in Norfolk, VA which held about 2000 I think.  For some shows there they put the barricade up so only prople in the beer garden could stand in the area in front of the stage.  This was one of those shows.  So there I was wedged up in the front stage right corner between the speaker mains, the stage and the beer garden barricade.  My buddy Kirshon was standing behind me and was the only other person there that I knew.

Alcatrazz came on and was quite possibly the most boring band I have ever seen.  i swear I fell asleep standing up during their performance.  Some squid woke me up.  Then comes Rough Cutt supporting their Wants You! album.  I had that cassette and their debut and liked them a lot so I was familiar with their material.  They kicked ass.  Royally.  Amir Derakh was great.  He’s a killer guitarist, plain and simple.  They rocked from beginning to end and got a great response from a crowd that had no idea who they were.  Then comes Zebra.  Perfectly refined, in time, in tune.  They played a seemingly flawless set and mixed up the harder stuff with some acoustic songs.  Unfortunately they played a Zeppelin song or 2 but I suffered through it.  It was a great show.

Years later (1996 I believe) by wife at the time and I went to the va Beach Amphitheatre to see the Virginia Symphony tribute to Led Zeppelin.  Yes, I don’t like Zeppelin but Randy Jackson was fronting the band so I had to go.  We got 4th row center and got there pretty early.  of course I brought all of my Zebra CDs and Randy’s solo album CD.  Before the show started, I saw a woman walking around on the stage and she obviously was someone “in charge”.  So I left my seat and walked up to the stage and asked her if there was a way for me to meet Randy before or after the show.  She looked at me for a second and just said, “Wait here.”  Ten minutes later she came back out and said to come to the back stage gate after the show and Randy would come out.  Eureka!  During the show, Randy did a fine Robert Plan imitation.  It was a fun show, Zep fan or not.

So afterwards my wife and I are waiting for about 20 minutes by the backstage gate and out comes Randy, freshly showered.  I shook his hand, introduced my wife and me and talked with him for about a half hour.  It was an afternoon show so no one seemed rushed to get out of there.  I told him that I saw the 3.V tour and he said he remembered that particular show because of the rain and poor crowd attendance.  he signed all my stuff and was very appreciative of my “fanboyness”.  haha.  He stated that I was the first person out of the 20 or so shows to recognize him and/or bring stuff to get signed.  He was super cool.

In 2000 my former guitarist and I went up to Jaxx in Springfield, VA to see them.  Moderate turnout and a great show.  I got to meet Felix and Guy before the show and got permission to film it.  The picture came out great.  Unfortunately, something screwed up on the camera and no sound was recorded.  I was pissed.  I got to meet randy again afterwards and reminded him about the symphony gig from a few years prior.  He remembered talking to us and asked where my “pretty little wife” was.  I just said, “Ancient history, man.”  It was cool seeing him and the band again.  I hope to catch them again sometime.  On the way home (3 hour drive), Reggie fell asleep…and so did I.  He just happened to wake up right before me and yell.  I woke up just in time to steer away from hitting the entrance wall to the Monitor-Merrimac Tunnel.  Scary shit!

It’s unfortunate that they won’t allow their studio vids on YouTube.