Zero Pushes Boundaries

Zero - The Young Dubliners

Cubby Bear - Chicago

[September 1, 1995

First Appeared in The Music Box, October 1995, Volume 2, #9

Written by John Metzger


vBay-Area favorites Zero made a long-awaited visit to Chicago over Labor Day weekend. Playing the Cubby Bear in front of a particularly irritating and drunk audiences, Zero came through with an amazing show that was reminiscent of the Legion of Mary concerts from the mid-70s. Horn player Martin Fierro led the band through its opening instrumental number Roll Me After, which soared far into the stratospheric world of jazz. Guitarist Steve Kimock, who remained seated in his corner of the stage with his back to the crowd for the entire show, provided some tasty guitar licks to complement the saxophone wizardry of Fierro. The band also ripped into Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, delivered a punchy version of The Band's The Shape I'm In, and twisted its own tune Catalina into a Grateful Dead-style epic. The biggest disappointment of the show was that the second set was cut tremendously short (only 3 songs totaling 35 minutes in length) due to the 2am curfew.

Performing in the middle slot of the evening was Fat Banana, a particularly awful Grateful Dead cover band. Although it was, perhaps, passable from a music-oriented perspective, the vocals were nothing more than pathetically whiny noise. To this irritating crowd, they were the favorite of the evening. Many left when Zero took the stage, seemingly satisfied with horrendous versions of Cumberland Blues, The Other One, and the Allman Brothers' Whipping Post.

The evening's festivities began on a much stronger note with the fresh sounding Irish rock band The Young Dubliners. They covered quite a bit of musical ground, including some traditional Irish tunes that featured violin player Chas Waltz and guitarist Randy Woolford trading some tasty licks.

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Copyright 1995 The Music Box