The Zoo 25 Brisbane Review @ The Zoo

Published in Music News  
Adele Pickvance was joined onstage by former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug. Adele Pickvance was joined onstage by former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug.

A quarter of a century has passed since much-loved Brisbane live-music venue The Zoo put down roots in Ann Street (Fortitude Valley), sealing its fate as an iconic local institution.


Recently, The Zoo reached its silver anniversary and after 25 years, the thriving venue still knows how to throw a flippin’ good party (15 December).

But it wasn’t just the music to be celebrated. The early 1990s was a period of transition for Brisbane, where a feeling of political change and renewal hung in the air.

In came The Zoo, quickly becoming the new face of the changing district. And now in 2017, with bright yellow balloons, yellow chandeliers and funky blue lights, a large gathering celebrated the legacy of The Zoo, its original, 24-year ownership by Joc Curran and C Smith and its latest adventures with current owner Pixie Weyand.

The evening opened with a blessing of the original Aboriginal owners of the land and a short set by Marcello & Tenzin from Tibet2Timbuk2, an utterly astonishing performance that sent chills down the audience's spines, turning The Zoo into a veritable hive of tranquillity.

Sissybones hit the stage with a smooth transition, allowing the audience to ease their way into the night, suck in fresh air from the big timber sash windows, relax on the lounge and catch up with old friends.

Celebrating 25 years of Brisbane music couldn’t occur without some of the most respected musicians in the Australia music industry – Adele Pickvance and Ben Ely.

Performing alongside former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug, Adele captivated the venue with her treasure-trove of jangly pop tracks, shaking the roof with the blend of nostalgia and celebration.

Click here to read our recent interview with Adele.

Ben Ely – a veritable Brisbane rock god – met an adoring audience of long-time fans, hitting the half-way mark of the night with a slew of old and new tracks.

Click here to read our September 2017 interview with Ben.

Then Brisbane stalwarts Tim Steward and Kelly Lloyd lit up the stage, thrusting the audience into a miasma of electric energy.

Audiences cheered as the seminal Brisbane ‘90s band ISIS hit the stage. The feminist-folk group had reunited in 2012 for The Zoo’s 20th birthday, and were delighted to return playing one song from each of their albums as well as new tracks.

Though the highlight of the night came with Sabrina Lawrie from The Hunting Party, captivating the audience with her killer pipes.

Sabrina engaged audiences not only with her amazing talent, but her overwhelming gratitude for the venue, recounting her first show on The Zoo stage with Tongue back in 1999.

One of the best live performances of the night, Sabrina’s darkly brooding, guitar-driven energy held the crowd's attention with a revved-up mixture of menace and soul.

Bringing the night to a close was Resin Dogs, with DJ Katch leading the band through a quick-fire set of their club bangers that had the loyal crowd dancing for more.

Here's to another 25 years of great music at The Zoo.

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