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9

Zebra at the NYCB Theatre At Westbury

Mike Perciaccante By

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Zebra had the mostly middle-aged crowd eating out of its hands. The band delivered exactly what the audience expected and wanted—an evening of fun, Zeppelin-flavored rock with a nod to the tasty guitar licks that Jackson has used to drive the music for almost forty years. On this evening the band's main set consisted of eighteen songs. In addition to the expected "Tell Me What You Want," "He's Makin' You The Fool," "As I Said Before," "Wait Till The Summer's Gone" "Bear," and "One More Chance" (which have become staples of the group's live performances), the band played songs from all phases of its career as well as a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll."

The players in Zebra are master musicians. Hanemann effortlessly switched back and forth between keyboards and bass guitar. Gelso's backbeat drove the band. Jackson's guitar and strong vocals were spot-on. His use of falsetto vocals on some of the songs fit so well into the arrangements that it sounded much like another instrument. Jackson's versatility was also on display when he strapped on the acoustic guitar for "Who's Behind The Door."

The main set ended with "Take Your Fingers From My Hair." The stunning version of the song had the audience on its feet, playing air guitar and singing along with the performers. At the end, the band left the stage but only for a minute. They returned to play "Don't Walk Away" and "The La La Song." The extended version of "The La La Song" included Gelso's powerful, yet tasty drum solo. During the solo, Jackson and Hanemann retreated to the back of the stage so Gelso could bask in the glory of his virtuosity. As the solo came to a close, Jackson and Hanemann returned to their instruments for the song's (and the show's) big finish. When the song ended, the band left the stage and made its way to the merchandise table to shake hands, sign CDs and meet its adoring public.

Photo Credit
Christine Connallon (view more concert photos)
[Additional article contributions by Christine Connallon].

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