It would have been wonderful to see Zebra when they were a new band.
When a band tells the audience, "We were trying to figure out the last time we were in Atlanta...", and between the audience and the band they figure it out that it was 1984, it explains why the band is not on the A list of touring acts. Four times in 43 years of existence does not build a following. However, there were people in the audience who traveled six hours, friends who traveled four hours, two hours for me, and some who travel all over the country for Zebra shows. A group of fans beside me are going to California for some shows. Last night's show was in Buford, GA about 30 miles north of Atlanta, but it still counts as Atlanta with less traffic. How many other cities were neglected over the years?
37 Main in Buford is a small place that gets some of the 80's bands that still tour. When my friends and I found months ago out about the Zebra show we got tickets. There are few bands from the early 80's with all the original members, although three people can be together easier than five or six.
The opening act was a guy named Dixie Duncan who played an Ovation and a Music Man Sterling through two massive pedalboards. The pedalboards were not filled with effects, but switches and loopers. The guy should be doing guitar clinics on the use of loopers because he was dancing on his.
Zebra's gear was on stage, but with the dim lighting I could never get a close up photo of what amps were used.
Felix Hanneman had an Ampeg 8 x 10" cabinet behind him with a tiny head on top that might have been a GK. He played an Ibanez Soundgear bass. His keyboard was a Yamaha M08.
Guy Gelso had a set of DW drums with a mix of cymbals. Some were Sabian and some were MEINL.
Randy Jackson had a Marshall half stack behind him. The head had a lot of knobs in two rows, but I could not make out the model. There were three guitars, a Takamine 12 string acoustic, a B.C. Rich doubleneck Rich Bich, and what is likely a D'Angelico Premier SD.
The show started off with Felix Hanneman playing bass, and toward the end he played the keyboard. The keys were split to allow getting the synth sounds and bass parts. Randy Jackson was amazing as a player, but really laid back as he played intricate parts while singing. Before the show started he told the sound man he was not using the amp, so he needed more guitar in his monitors. That made it harder to hear the guitar from where I was near the stage. When I covered my ears (while wearing ear plugs) I could hear everything through the PA. All the parts were there, just as perfect as could be.
There was no setlist on the stage. Randy would start playing an intro or they just knew what song to do next. I was able to get an accurate setlist.
After the show the band went to the merchandise table and signed anything and everything for people. I did not expect that, so I had nothing with me. There was only one T-shirt for sale with the first album cover on the front and the song list on the back. (The super fans had really nice looking tour shirts from 2017.) If the band had CD's or any other swag I would have jumped in line.