Live Review: Johnny Zapp

Harvard and Stone   Los Angeles, CA

Web: johnnyzapp.com

Contact: [email protected]

Players: Johnny Zapp, vocals, guitar; Matt Lubben, vocals, guitar; Scott Andrews, bass;

A.D. Adams, drums, vocals

Material: Johnny Zapp’s music is punk rock meets rock & roll, who then sat down to lunch with rockabilly. His style, rooted deep in the ‘70s era, encompasses a great many influences. For the most part, the live songs are heavy-hitting, hard rockin’ punk tunes with splashes and sprinkles of melodic rockabilly and hints of oldies. The bottom end hits your soul like thunder in the dry desert just waiting for a splashdown. 

Musicianship: Strong all around. Zapp, a multi-instrumentalist, stuck to playing guitar and helped fill the rhythm section superbly. Good strong vocals from Zapp and Lubben kept things very interesting, especially on “Want You, Need You.” Lubben also contributed some nice rhythm guitar as well as some no-frills guitar lead. Adams and Andrews proved to be an unstoppable rhythmic force as they combined to provide a wall of energy that the guitars and vocals could cut through with a superb outcome. 

Performance: Not much room on the stage to move around, but the boys did everything they could. While Zapp has "Elvis" written all over him, he has his own fashion and style. You can tell he’s been around music his whole life. Adams is the solid rock that everyone sits on. He was beating his drums like it was never going to be loud enough and was very, very entertaining as he also sang backup. Adams was the solid force, visually, that kept everything together.

Summary: Johnny Zapp is no slouch when it comes to the music business. He is all over the place. If he’s not performing, he’s writing. If not writing, he’s practicing. If not practicing, he’s in front of the camera at a photo shoot and always travelling. His music can be heard in 48 countries around the world. He has written tunes for the TV shows Pimp My Ride, MTV 10 on Top, ESPN’s coverage of the PGA Tour and many Red Bull advertisements. If you’re looking for well-written tunes that are well performed, check out Johnny Zapp and his crew the next chance you get.

Pierce Brochetti