A truly unique exhibition of live music and community went down in the humid jungle of the Canopy Club in full bloom Thursday, aided by the light rains and spring-like weather. People from all walks of life came out in throngs to celebrate the onset of spring break and the free Chambana Supernova costume/dance party featuring music by Zmick and The Fuz. The entire night the room buzzed with an energy and excitement that flowed among the musicians and audience members, driving the bands’ original music and covers to spectacular heights.
The concert had a festival-like atmosphere complete with hula-hoops, balloons, beach balls and people in all sorts of costumes – space helmets, colorful clothing and glow-in-the-dark objects. One girl even made a large hoop skirt to dress up as Saturn. Arguably the best costume of the night belonged to Zmick keyboardist Mike Donato who shimmered shoulders to toe in a toga of aluminum foil. To top it off; he wore a large glowing hat.
The theme of outer space would not be complete without a couple of celestial covers. Opening the set was a creative spin on Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” which is one of the memorable themes from the score of 2001: A Space Oddessy. The crowd really picked up excitement at the culmination of the jam when Zmick segued into their original “Apt. 54” with a slow Latin beat, fun lyrics and a bridge that builds slowly over time into a powerful jam.
As the concert continued on, the band really settled into a groove, feeding off the energy of the crowd and each other. They traded solos and expanded their original songs into ethereal jams held down solidly by drummer Kris Ahrens and bassist Dan Wonsover and decorated by the swift fingers of guitarist Brad Miller and Mike Donato. To kick off the first set, Zmick played a great rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” which was illuminated well by “Bigs” who is commonly referred to by the band as their fifth member.
Sadly, all good excursions do come to an end. Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage/Eclipse” was a perfect way to close the energetic, original-filled second set, as the jubilant crowd sang along eagerly. The audience, not entirely satisfied, demanded an encore and convinced the Urbana four-piece to encore with the classic Dead tune “Eyes of the World.”
Throughout the show, the enthusiastic, dancing spectators kept healthy attention toward the band and their music, which can be attributed to the many diverse styles that the band fuses into their own blend of music. From samba to reggae, jazz to blues and just about everything in between, Zmick’s influences give each one of their original songs its own character. Their lyrics are simply worded, and often inspiring, uplifting, and carefree. Even the instrumental melodies coaxed the audience into wordless sing-a-longs that expressed their passion for the music. All in all, the concert was an exciting spectacle, celebrating live music and the unification of the human spirit among all music fans. It’s clear that there will be many good times around the bend for Zmick.