Zero & Celebrates 35th Anniversary With Guests In San Francisco

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Zero returned to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Thursday and Friday nights for a pair of concerts in honor of the group’s 35th anniversary. The band welcomed a number of guests at each show, which both featured career-spanning setlists.

Founding members guitarist Steve Kimock and drummer Greg Anton were joined by keyboardist Melvin Seals and bassist Pete Sears as the core band for the concerts in San Francisco as well as a third show that followed on Saturday night in Crystal Bay, Nevada. The quartet was augmented by trumpeter Hadi Al-Saddoon for most of the performances.

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Zero began Thursday’s show with “Severe Tire Damage” and then brought out guitarist/vocalist Sebastian Saint James for “Riding With The King” and “Horses.” Saint James would make more appearances throughout the run starting with a take on Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” that closed the first set of the celebration. Sebastian returned after Zero kicked off Thursday’s second set with “Tongue & Groove” to add to a run of “Ermaline,” “Spoken For,” “Running On Faith” and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” Lauren Murphy represented her late husband and longtime Zero member Judge Murphy by singing “Running On Faith” and “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” on Thursday. The band ended the concert with a cover of Sam Cooke’s “That’s Where It’s At.”

The band opened Friday’s concert by pairing Kimock classics “Cole’s Law” and “Tangled Hangers.” Saint James then made his first appearances of the night on “Chance In A Million” and “End Of The World Blues” before Zero worked “Theme From Nancy Germany” into “Gregg’s Eggs” to conclude the frame. Denise Kaufman of Ace Of Cups joined Zero on harmonica for an instrumental rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You” to kick off the second set. Then, Jessica Fierro, the daughter of Martin Fierro, led the ensemble through “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Friday’s second set continued on with Sebastian Saint James, Jessica Fierro and Lauren Murphy joining Zero for “Catalina.” The core band then wrapped the frame with “Rigor Mortis” and “Golden Road.” Zero went on to close out the night with an instrumental rendition of the Grateful Dead’s “Stella Blue.”

Listen to an audience recording of Friday’s show taped by Michael Zelner below:

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Setlists (via Mark Trapper Lichtenberger)

Thursday, November 21

Set One: Severe Tire Damage, Riding With The King#, Horses#, Anorexia, Forever Is Nowhere, Highway 61 Revisited#

Set Two: Tongue and Groove, Ermaline#, Spoken For#, Running On Faith*#, Papa Was A Rolling Stone*#, Straight Jackets

Encore: That’s Where It’s At #

  • # – w/ Sebastian Saint James
  • * – w/ Lauren Murphy
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Friday, November 22

Set One: Cole’s Law > Tangled Hangers, Chance In A Million*, End Of The World Blues*, Theme From Nancy Germany, Gregg’s Eggs

Set Two: Baby I Love You#, Imagine$#, Catalina*@$, Rigor Mortis, Golden Road

Encore: Stella Blue

  • * – w/ Sebastian Saint James
  • # – w/ Denise Kaufman
  • @ – w/ Lauren Murphy
  • $ – w/ Jessica Fierro