Zico "King of the Zungle" London Concert Review
Zico is really a King
And you have to go and see his show…
London fans are quite familiar with Zico by now. He has visited previously with Block B and last year during London Fashion Week when he hold a lunch party for his collaboration with fashion brand MISBHV. But this is the first time that he is holding his own solo tour.
Zico’s concert is divided in three main parts, just like a three act theatre play. Every single detail from videos played during intermissions to video effects on the two big screens during the performance were full of meaning, helping Zico to portray his story. The impecable production showcases Zico’s artistic genius beyond music.
Zico “King of the Zungle” - Part 1 (Introduction)
As any introduction, this is where fans are introduced to who Zico is and what his world is like. Before the music starts a video of animals from the jungle fighting for survival are shown and a voice is preaching as if it is addressing someone. “You will conquer this jungle” the voice said as an ominous prophecy of what Zico will become and so, the video ends with an image of a wolf.
When the music finally starts, the bass is so strong you can fill it in your body, shaking you wholly. Zico shows up on stage and introduces himself with his song “Tough Cookie”. He describes his wild environment that a rapper’s world is, and which keeps him always busy. Next on he sings “Veni Vidi Vici” where he asks the audience to let him reintroduce himself. The song talks about him being a “wolf” (ah, the beauty of the intro video drawing directly from Zico’s lyrics!) that doesn’t associate with dogs (inferring he is more ferocious than other rappers/singers). But the song also talks about how you need to work hard in order to “rise above others”. Here is where Zico’s competition to the throne comes into play. The others rappers are Zico’s obstacle to overcome in order to become the best rapper/musician.
The last song from the first act is “Turtle Ship” where Zico states that he is ready for war. This song acts just like a turning point in a story as Zico, after becoming aware of all the other contenders, starts getting ready for battle in order to succeed in ascending to the throne. A Turtle Ship is a type of Korean warship that was used during the Japanese invasions. Even though the Korean army was outnumbered, they managed to win in the end, largely thanks to a small fleet of Turtle Ships. Therefore, even though there are so many other rappers and musicians out there, Zico’s skills are his own “Turtle Ship” that will help him win the war in this wild jungle.
Zico “King of the Zungle” - Part 2 (Confrontation)
During the intermission a video is played, but this time it is showing him squatting for a bit before rising, turning around and walking out of the frame.
The second part starts with “Well done”, Zico’s second solo single. It contains Zico’s autobiographical lyrics which describe his previous 4 years as a musician. He is showing pride in his past achievements, indicating that the battle is going well, but that it is not over yet. There is still a long way to go and “only the strong survive”. Then, in “Behind The Scene” Zico describes how difficult the creative process of making music really is. His hard work to write songs is the true battle for the throne of the music industry.
After “Behind The Scene” the narrative gets a new spin for a bit more light hearted songs.
Zico is joined on stage by backup dances for “Artist” and the crowd joins him every time singing along during the chorus. “Artist” is the song that says: ok, I worked hard so long, it’s time for a little break, I can’t spend all my life working. It’s time to live a little. And what else makes you feel more alive than falling in love? The backup dances leave, but the crowd knows every single word of “I am you, you are me” and everyone sings along to every second of it. After falling in love it’s time to talk about love and relationships in “Pride and Prejudice”. Also, don’t forget that “She’s a baby”, but not Zico’s babe!
Zico “King of the Zungle” - Part 3 (Resolution)
Before going on with the last part of the show, a new video is played on the screens. This time, Zico appears to be tired and is relaxing in his throne. On either side of him there is a servant, one pouring him coffee and the other is holding a plate. As we learned from the previous part, Zico worked hard, earned his position through hard work, but love is also important and he seems to be searching for it. In front of him are women dancing trying to seduce him and it seems that Zico found one that he likes as he gets up from his seat and starts dancing too.
“Eureka” is the first song of the last part and continues the narrative of the intro video. Zico has been seduced and is chasing a girl trying to make her his wife, as every King needs his Queen. And as a true Queen, she is a “masterpiece” and everyone looks “so plain” compared to her as he continues to sing in “HER”, song that he wrote and composed for Block B.
After finding his Queen, Zico goes back to the initial narrative about his fight to become King. In “Okey Dokey” Zico has established himself as the King of rap, but he is an artist and won’t limit himself to rapping. He also calls his competition “dogs” again telling them they can try and have a shot at him, but that it will be easy for him to win.
A short break for another video. This time Zico is sitting on his throne, but doesn’t seem to be fine. Versions of him appear left and right and it looks as if he is going crazy. This is because Zico is now turning his attention towards his Antis and sums up all their opinions in his song “Anti” before addressing them in “Predator”. He asks them not to force their opinions on him as he needs to follow the “law of the jungle”. Again in “Red Sun” he makes his plea, “Let me be dark”.
The second a triangle appears on the screens the crowd gets wilder than they ever were before. “Bermuda Triangle” is Fanxychild’s first song and from the beginning they made sure to let everyone know that they are superior to them. And just in case he hasn’t made himself heard properly, next comes the song “Fanxy Child” where the chorus makes it clear for everyone that “you can’t handle” Zico and his friends.
The last song of the set is addressing the crowd just like a customer survey: “Say yes or no”, did you all love it? How could you answer no, when everything is so beautifully put together?
Zico “King of the Zungle” - Encore
The encore is a quick sum up of Zico’s narrative. First, through “Boys and Girls” he reminds us that love is important in life. And last, almost 8 years after his mixtape “Zico On The Block” was released, he is “still fly” and a King.
Zico “King of the Zungle” - Upcoming Dates
Zico’s tour continues and if you haven’t got your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?
Europe, check links below:
WARSAW - 3RD OCTOBER
AMSTERDAM - 6TH OCTOBER
MOSCOW - 7TH OCTOBER
Many thanks to BBCs for making this concerts possible and for the amazing photos on Instagram!