REVIEW: Too Many Zooz

In my musical experience, it doesn’t get much more obscure than a Monday night concert at the Bling Pig with a band that got its start on the New York subway. Lately, I’ve been finding myself going to concerts and events without much in the way of expectations or preconceptions. Blame it on the sentimentality of second semester senior year, because I’m suddenly desperate to soak in all the experiences I haven’t yet had during my time here at Umich. So, when my boyfriend invited me along to go see a show at the Bling Pig with his friends, I said yes. I grew up hearing my dad rave about the Bling Pig as a landmark venue for the region where he spent much of his raucous, hippy youth. Sadly, I’d just never made a point of going to see a show there. When the opportunity presented itself, I knew that it was my chance. That’s how I ended up at the Blind Pig on a Monday night for a performance by a band whose name I didn’t know, and man, am I glad I went.
The Bling Pig has that sort of grimy, hole-in-the-wall feeling that all the best venues have. Apparently, they usually serve free popcorn but that was not the case Monday night, to my boyfriend’s chagrin. We grabbed a hightop chair and section of counter along the side of the room so that this fun sized individual could actually see the stage. The opening act was The Essentials which seems a bit presumptuous, if you ask me. A small band from Toledo, The Essentials classify themselves as reggae/surf/punk. I would classify them as knock-off Sublime. If you can’t tell, I wasn’t particularly enamored with their set; it just brought back too many memories from my middle school girlfriend’s house in the summer.
Despite, this subpar opening act (it can’t be disappointing if you don’t have expectations) I was pleasantly surprised when Too Many Zooz took the stage and a neon-clad man started belting out a catchy tune on baritone sax. Too Many Zooz is probably one of the strangest groups I’ve ever seen perform both in appearance and sound. The members, Matt Doe, Leo P, and the King of Sludge definitely look like they started out playing on the subway. Each of them has a distinct style which does not mesh with the others creating a slightly confusing visual experience that makes it nearly impossible to look away. The saxophone player was the clear highlight of the performance as Matt Doe climbed on speakers in his neon rave outfit and expressed the full range of the bari sax. Their self-described music genre, brass house, is just as wild as the appearance and incredibly accurate. I couldn’t help but think “if they played this kind of music at Rick’s I would probably go a lot more often”. The performance was lively and fun, never allowing the energy to decline. I found myself wishing Leo P’s theory of our sweat condensing into clouds which would then rain down on us and provide some relief from the temperature of the room would come true. I know that I can’t always be this lucky, but this chance definitely payed off.

Image courtesy of Too Many Zooz’s official Facebook page

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