SXSW Review: The Zombies, March 16, Waterloo Records

For a bunch of seasoned performers (or “old guys” if you want to be less PC about it), The Zombies sure were hustling around SXSW like a band of newcomers. I think the band played about 5 or 6 shows around Austin during the week, and this show, a free instore at Waterloo Records, was the first of three on this day alone. No big deal for a bunch of hungry kids in their early 20s, but remember, Zombies main guys Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent are in their late 60s. And I’m happy to report these guys have still got it. Blunstone’s voice still sounds amazing, though it has deepened a bit over the years. For his part, Argent worked the crowd, handling much of the stage banter.

The band ran through a brief set covering all of their best loved songs, including “Tell Her No,” “Care of Cell 44,” “She’s Not There,” and “Time Of The Season.” They also played a new song as well as a cover of Argent’s hit with his eponymous band, “Hold Your Head Up,” which also incorporated a little snippet of “Yellow Rose Of Texas” as a nod to their surroundings. As Argent explained, they play this song in their set because it was written by former Zombies bassist Chris White and also, I’m sure, because it was a hit, and people like to hear hits.  Scanning the crowd for the smiling faces and singalongs for several songs throughout their set was proof of this.

While Blunstone, Argent, and company may be no spring chickens anymore, they’re still capable of putting on a totally satisfying show that more than met my expectations.  I’ve long been a Zombies fan and was happy to find that they can still bring it.  Chalk one up for the old guys.

Posted on by Paul in South By Southwest