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February 19th 2022

Riverside Municipal Auditorium
Riverside (CA)

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Apr 24 2002 @ Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, ON

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On Stage


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1 review
Review by Chichester on Feb 14 2005 

Last summer, after I arrived in Philadelphia for a weekend, I was surprised to discover that Fishbone was playing a concert during my free night. Naturally, I did not miss my opportunity to slam and be slammed in front of one of my long-time favourite bands, after having only seen them in an arena setting.

Last week, it was round two of the Fishbone club experience, and my required travel distance was considerably shorter, with the 'Bone playing at Zaphod's. Although the Ottawa crowd was not as physical as the audience in Philly, they still came with a lot of energy. Considering that I had time to actually get psyched for this show and that I had some company to share it with, combined with a Fishbone set that was perhaps even stronger, I would say that I may have surpassed the wild time that I had in Philly.

The opening format matched that of the Philadelphia show. Norwood, John Steward, and Spacey T took the stage first, with frontman Angelo Moore quickly surfacing in his Dr. Madd Vibe mode. After Angelo took the crowd through his nimble-mouthed poetry, Dirty Walt completed the line-up and led the band through "Nuttmeg World," from his solo CD, To Put It Bluntly.

With such a long history, Fishbone has a lot of material from which to choose a set; and they delivered a very different concert from what I had heard in my previous encounter. Very early in the night, the band dropped the bomb with their signature song, "Party at Ground Zero," which got everyone hopping. ("Drop the bomb, drop the bomb!")

If it wasn't already obvious to the audience, they quickly learned that Angelo was going to be a wild man, as "Party" saw him make the first of many forays into the crowd, his mic cord trailing overhead. That song also marked the first time that Angelo pointed the mic at me, as I got to deliver the "la da, da da, da da" bits (twice). Too cool.

There were quite a few people in the audience who were obviously diehard Fishbone fans, and they helped lead the charge on a very energetic crowd. Of course, when the lead singer is literally throwing himself over your head, screaming, it's easy to feel like you should be dancing and screaming back. By the time that Fishbone got to "Alcoholic," (introduced by another fast paced Madd Vibe spiel), the crowd was packed tightly enough for Angelo to give his first stage dive. In fact, the only solid contact that I took all night was an elbow to the eye from Angelo, as he was making his way back to the stage.

Of course, Angelo was figuratively kicking everyone's ass with his vocals, sax, and theremin all night, so taking one physical shot leaves no room for complaint. With such a sweaty, physical performance, Angelo soon stripped from the suit that he started with to only his pants and suspenders; and . . . well . . . those suspenders weren't really getting the job done. I'd say that it's good that Angelo usually has his saxophone in front of him.

Fishbone has always been a collective force, so although Angelo draws the most focus, I do appreciate watching the rest of the band play. It's especially cool to see the other original members of the band, Dirty Walt and Norwood. Unfortunately, Norwood's position behind Zaphod's infamous pillar made it hard for me to observe his tremendous bass work, whcih is my one true complaint for the evening.

As I mentioned, the set list was quite different from the Philly concert. Although I can think of several great songs I heard in one city, but not the other, I certainly have no complaints about the long set that Fishbone gave to Ottawa. "Unyielding Conditioning," "Behavior Control Technician," "Monkey Dick," and "Swim" were a blast; "Lyin' Ass Bitch" (with another poetry intro) took the band back to the their first album; "Shakey Ground" and "Karma Tsunami" were inclusions from the last full-length album; and "Freddie's Dead" (a Curtis Mayfield classic that Fishbone has made their own) "Ma and Pa" (my voice kinda gave out when I was given the mic for that one), and "Sunless Saturday" are definitely some of the band's best songs.

By the time that the encore marched out "The Suffering," "Everyday Sunshine," and a fantastic take of "Fishbone is Red Hot," to end a long night, everyone in the house was satisfied. I know that yelling the chorus of "Fishbone is Red Hot" into the mic, as well as my screamed-out throat would allow, was among the most fun that I've had in a long time.

It's certainly not an opportunity that I would have ever expected to be given when I first started listening to Fishbone more than ten years ago. I'm blown away that the band is still giving such incredible performances; and I'm very happy that I've been lucky enough to be there for a few of their recent efforts.

[Review also posted at]


Live Recordings

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Fishbone & Zaphod Beeblebrox

Fishbone played already at Zaphod Beeblebrox once.
>October 12, 2002 1 photoNo video has yet been linked.No review has yet been submitted.The setlist has not yet been submitted.No recording has yet been submitted.1 'hoodster in attendance
Fishbone is not scheduled to play Zaphod Beeblebrox anytime soon.


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