Last weekend I traveled from my hometown in the Netherlands to Hatfield for Slam Dunk South! The main reason I was there was Enter Shikari, but I was so stoked to find out Zebrahead were also playing this traveling festival. Last time I saw the Orange County based punk-band was at Rock’n’Heim in Germany, in the hot summer of 2013, so I was VERY excited to see them again.
I remember them making a party out of their show at the German festival, and they still know how to make the crowd go wild! After walking around the festival for a while, I dragged my fiancé with me to the Fireball-stage. We found a nice barrier-spot and after waiting for a short time, the band happily jumped on stage to the Team America theme song and followed with the perfect starter of their set: ‘Save Your Breath’. The crowd shouted the lyrics along and danced and jumped and were at least as excited as me to see the band, it was amazing to see!
Of course people wanted to crowd surf during their set. We even watched Zebrahead’s bass-player Ben Osmundson ask security (while playing, what a hero!) to calm down and handle the people with more care as they tumbled over the barrier. Everything in this entire Slam Dunk performance showed that the band wanted the fans to have a good time, and boy, we did. After (my personal favourite) ‘Hell Yeah’, and ‘Call Your Friends’, they had us sing along to ‘Drink Drink’. Their set went on with ‘Mike Dexter Is a God, Mike Dexter Is a Role Model, Mike Dexter Is an Asshole’, ‘Rescue Me’, ‘Hello Tomorrow’, ‘Falling Apart’, and they closed their show with the belter that is ‘Anthem’, but not before being joined on stage by the lads of Reel Big Fish.
And that was the end of their set. We thought. Guitarist and vocalist Matty Lewis ended the show with an excellent lip-sync of ‘I will always love you’ from Whitney Houston, and after sharing a moment with him (I will always love you, Matty.) their show was really, really over. If it were up to me, they would have played at least twice as long, but sadly it wasn’t up to a random girl from the Netherlands.
In short: they were amazing. It’s such a pleasure to see a band have so much fun on stage and it is wonderful to see them care about their fans. They bring the party and the energy you need. If they ever play in your area, and if you are a fan of punk / punk rock music, a few beers, dancing at gigs and having a good time, I strongly advise you to go see Zebrahead, you will definitely thank me afterwards.