ZITO RETURNS HOME, RIPS THE ROOM TO SHREDS
Amid his “First Class 2019 Summer Tour”, Mike Zito made a stop in his hometown last night to headline the Gulf Coast Records Revue featuring label mates, Tony Campanella and Odds Lane at The Old Rock House. The bands’ three sets blended together seamlessly, creating the perfect storm and fans were lucky to walk away with their faces still in tact.
Odds Lane lit the fuse to get the night started. Playing tracks from their most recent release, Lost & Found (Gulf Coast Records), they hit the stage just after 8 o’clock and tore it open with “Don’t Give It Away”. With the perfect cohesion between blues and rock, Odds Lane’s set was an ideal way to commence the revue. The venue was filling fast and the St. Louis band was very well received by concertgoers. You can pick up their latest album here: https://www.oddslane.com/store.
Setlist – Odds Lane
Don’t Give It Away
This Is What It’s Like
I Ain’t Missing You
White Castle Blues
Lost & Found
Blood On The Van
The night is off to a stellar start when in walks Tony Campanella, another homegrown axe man, who unapologetically claims the stage and rules it like an overlord. The crowd is growing and spectators begin to gravitate to the dancefloor, front and center. Fans watch in awe as Campanella throws out licks and riffs like Frooties at a small town parade, trying to nail as many people in the face as he can.
Tony’s set consisted of tracks from his latest album, “Taking It To The Street” (Gulf Coast Records) and was backed by Odds Lane boys, Doug Byrkit on bass and Brian Zielie on drums. By the middle of his set, the place was packed and everyone was pumped. Pick up the record here: https://www.tonycampanella.com/
Setlist – Tony Campanella
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
You Don’t Know
My Motor’s Running
One Foot In The Blues
Taking It To The Street
Following Campanella’s set, Mike Zito entered stage left in grand fashion, greeted the crowd, and then it was on. Riffing on a Fender with a St. Louis Blues blue note emblazoned across the body, he went 0 to 120 right off the bat. He owned the room which was so jam packed that people were spilling onto the patio, standing on their tiptoes to get a view of the perfect storm brewing on stage.
Zito played to the audience and pulled from their energy, but when he tilts his head back, eyes closed, he’s in his Zito zone and this is a cue to buckle your shit up. It is commensurate with starting at the top of the mountain and gaining monumental speed as you roll downward.
Right around mid-set, Zito was joined by Doug and Brian of Odds Lane for “Hollywood” and “Pull the Trigger”. These three guys go back more than 20 years when they were roommates and bandmates covering the St. Louis bar circuit. A lot may have changed for them individually and collectively since those days, but their chemistry is still indisputable.
For the last three songs of Zito’s set, Tony Campanella joined him on stage for “Paying The Cost”, “Make Blues, Not War”, and “Walking By Myself”.
The rest of the show offered the audience an up close and personal experience as he and his saxophonist journeyed into the crowd on the dance floor where Zito heads gathered around them. This seemingly spontaneous gesture demonstrated his connection to his fans and the vibes that they absorb between one another.
Mike Zito won “Blues Rock Artist of the Year” in May of 2018 at the Blues Music Awards in Memphis. His current album, First Class Life, captured the #1 spot on the National Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues Albums Chart. He is also nominated for the 2019 Independent Blues Awards in 3 categories: “Best Blues Rock Band”, “Best Music Engineer/Producer”, “Best Blues Rock Song”, and “Best Song For The Common Good”.
The evidence of Mike Zito’s level of bad assedness is overwhelming. Pick up his latest album, First Class Life here: https://www.mikezito.com/
Setlist – Mike Zito
First Class Life
I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treat Me)
The World We Live In
Hollywood, feat. Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie of Odds Lane
Pull The Trigger, feat. Doug Byrkit and Brian Zielie of Odds Lane
Paying The Cost, feat. Tony Campanella
Make Blues, Not War, feat. Tony Campanella
Walking By Myself, feat. Tony Campanella
Road Never Ends
All bands were excellent. Zito kicked that shit. And when the boys all got together what a TREAT.
I’ve known Mike since his days as a grunt at Tower Grove Music. Saw him the night he appeared with the first band he was ever in at the Arnold Bowling Alley. Saw him at his first gig with Brian and Doug as Zito in the small back room at Boomers they called the Blue Room. Bought a TON of equipment off him as a salesman at Tower Grove and Zarkies Music. Saw him in some good times and some bad times.
Many years have passed and now days he’s got the blues world by the balls. With his new studio Gulf Coast Records I look for him to be a driving force in the future of blues music bring little know talent to the forefront.
And yes I’m the one who won the autographed Fender Squire Strat. People hate me!
Traveled four hours and “Got Shred?” yes, please and thank YOU
p.s. The horns were BBs and the keys were Freddies. Long live King Zito!