2015 marks 21 years since noisy rockers Zoobombs formed in Tokyo, but anyone unfamiliar with the band would be forgiven for thinking they are a group of raucous up-and-comers. They played their show on Saturday night (May 2) like a bunch of overgrown kids not yet used to the novelty of being on stage, too cool to act too cool.
Guitarist, vocalist, and founding member Don Matsuo looked like a college kid with his skinny jeans, shaggy hair and striped polo (which he removed to reveal a Zoobombs tee underneath), throwing his body around on stage as he played as if it were made of paper, contorting himself over his guitar like a mad scientist in a laboratory.
There wasn't a second during the entire set when a single one of the members remained static, four musicians caught up in their own sonic worlds while remaining perfectly in sync. Recent addition to the band Kana Mutch Matsuda's fingers moved so frenetically on her bass they were a blur.
Zoobombs haven't released an album as a group since 2012's The Sweet Passion, though Matsuo recently released his fourth solo album, Arcadia Blues. With no new record to promote, they indulged in both experimental tracks and popular hits from their catalogue. Their immensely catchy '60s garage rock homage "Way In/Way Out" came to life as Matsuo finished his solo lying on his back on the floor. The set was a 40-minute marathon of noise, with songs bleeding into each other through heavy reverb.
Matsuo kept his interactions with the audience minimal until the end, when he took a moment to introduce his band and share his appreciation for Toronto.
"We are really happy and not bored to be here," he said to a room full of cheers, before going into the final song, a considerably mellower jam with a repeating refrain of "I wanna be your friend." Finishing to a room full of cheers and shouts for an encore, the four members came to the front of the stage, linked arms and took a bow, grins plastered to their faces, having way too much fun.