16.08.2023 Konzertfabrik Z7 Pratteln, Switzerland
Today Z7 presents a YouTube phenomenon, Frog Leap kick off their tour with a guest appearance in Pratteln. Norwegian YouTube star Leo Moracchioli has around 4.5 million subscribers to his channel who follow his cover versions, equipment reviews and updates from his studio Frog Leap in Oltedal, Norway. In addition to well-known pop songs, he also covers children songs and game hits as metal versions, of which he offers around 400 for download. It’s clear that this works well online – but live? Does such a performance even attract an audience?
To the surprise of the Z7 staff and us regulars, the answer is yes, 700-800 people are waiting in front of the stage when it starts at 20:45. Frog Leap have the Bunny guy with them as animator, who pulls out a conductor’s baton to set the mood and to wave the band on stage. It will turn out that this Animator Bunny is the most exciting show element, when he jumps around on stage and in the audience. And ladies, you’d rather want to see him without a mask, pure eye candy!
Leo’s fellow musicians are Erik Torp on bass, Rabea Massaad on guitar, who catches all eyes with his Sideshow Bob hairstyle bobbing to the beat, drummer/vocalist Truls Haugen and vocalist Hannah Boulton. Hannah is a bit of a YouTube star herself, releasing original songs and covers.
She sings some duets with Leo, has a great voice and obviously enjoys being on stage, but her voice doesn’t really fit to Metal. But that doesn’t matter. It’s all about the fun which people truly have wih eg. «Party Rock Anthem», «Dance Monkey» or «Africa». But most of all, the Pokemon Theme Song is the most fun, and I can’t help but stand in the crowd shaking my head. Hard metal guys all singing «POKEMON» at the top of their lungs. Next thing you know, they’d be standing in the front row of a Heavysaurus concert singing «Gum is awesome.» (YES INDEED, they do this in Finland, plus those adult Metalheads are wearing carnival costumes, observed e.g. at Nummirock 2018! the ed.)
«Poker Face», «Hello» by Adele or «Eye of the Tiger», there is something for every taste. Meanwhile, Bunny Animator provides action, as he headbangs on stage, then jumps on the barrier, disappears into the audience and dances with one or the other audience member. Under Leo’s watchful eyes: «Please don’t break him, it’s his first show and we don’t have a replacement». Then he himself climbs on the Bunny shoulders during «Party Rock Anthem» to be carried across the hall. Then he climbs back on stage afterwards with some effort. Bunny, on the other hand, just needs a hop and is back on top. Unbelievable.
The band knows how to create a good atmosphere, for my taste the setlist could have contained more party songs. Nevertheless, the show is total fun, even if not all vocals or notes are perfect or that it sometimes takes a long time to recognize the song. It’s clear, Bunny is the major show element and should perhaps just lose the stupid mask. At least we girls would enjoy this bunny even more… 😉