December 31, 2010
Having gained much recognition during the year 2010, Zoogma’s second annual “Zoo Year’s Eve” show, held at Newby’s in the heart of Memphis, provided the city with what was a phenomenal entry into the new year.
Due to overwhelming response, the venue changed the age requirement to 18 and up shortly before the show, which enabled many younger fans to join the New Year’s festivities. Nashville DJ, This Is Art, provided the opening set with ample style and got the crowd warmed up for the night.
With the slogan, “Dress like an animal, party accordingly,” Zoogma fans adorned themselves with costumes that ranged from the Pink Panther to rock lobsters in preparation for what would be a wild night. Taking the stage in costumes of their own, the five-piece band opened their set with a rendition of The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” with Elton John and Phish teases, which set the mood for a less-than-typical show, jam packed all new musical pleasures for the fans.
Halfway through the first set, the countdown began to a version of “Chariots of Fire,” originally by Vangelis. Anyone in the crowd hoping to stay clean and dry found themselves bathed in champagne, streamers, and glitter as the countdown reached zero. All rules of the natural food chain were dismissed as predators danced with prey in celebration of surviving one more year.
The biggest surprise of the night was when Seth Maness of the band Subject Matters joined the stage to freestyle to an incredible version of Grand Master Flash’s “The Message” during the first set. Maness’s fresh hip hop style added a new element that meshed seamlessly with the otherwise vocal-less music. Even when a rogue beach ball landed on stage, Maness did not miss a beat, including the return of the ball back to the crowd as part of his lyrics. He joined the stage once more during the second set for a Tears For Fears cover, adding yet even more variety to the already diverse sounds of Zoogma.
During set break, wild animals of all shapes and sizes poured out onto the torrential rainstorm of the Memphis streets for a well-needed break to rehydrate and cool off from the sweaty debauchery inside.
The second Zoogma set of the night was opened with a new cover of 2Unlimited’s “Yall Ready For This?” It became clear that the band, while not only having their own songs becoming iconic in the scene, was able to take any song and make it work effortlessly into their own show with enough added flavor to make it their own.
While not all in the crowd could handle raging until well beyond 3am, the venue stayed fairly full with wild-eyed animals who had tapped into the personas of their costumes. At one point during the show, a section of the crowd began to bow down in front of the band chanting, “We’re not worthy!” Proving the crowd right, the band ended the show with an encore that included Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell,” which sent the crowd into a frenzy that sealed this show as being one to remember.
With one more New Years show under their belt, Zoogma fans can be sure that 2011 will be full of lots of surprises and sonic growth from this ever developing band. Make sure to catch them in a city near you during their winter tour!
Click the thumbnail for more shots from the night!