Koe Wetzel Turned An LA Crowd Into A Horde Of Degenerate Zombies (Myself Included) Last Week

Koe Wetzel country music
John Park/ Jape Media

Koe Wetzel’s headlining tour hit the West Coast last week and I was lucky enough to attend the show at LA’s Novo theater.

Or at least a glassy-eyed, shuddering, zombie-like version of myself did.

And now that I’ve had a week to transform back into a human being again, here’s what I learned: The Koe Wetzel Effect is real.

As soon as Koe hit the stage to launch into “Sundy or Mundy” and “Forever,” the on-stage pyrotechnics sent out a cloud of smoke that seemed to blanket the crowd in a thin layer of hysteria.

Beer splashed from plastic cups (sorry, whoever that was standing next to me…), bodies jostled and careened against each other, and every person in the room started to look and act a bit… different.

We were simultaneously euphoric, uninhibited, and a little angry… just like our leader up there on stage.

Koe looked every bit like he’d just emerged from a cross-country 48-hour Miami-to-LA bender with Diplo and Kodak Black.

With dull and vacant eyes, he dutifully strummed his guitar and belted out the opening songs like a professional, just out there trying to do his job after seven-too-many with the boys last night. You couldn’t tell from his voice though, and the crowd bounced and rocked with every word, grateful to see the mythical rockstar who graces our Instagram feeds with debauchery every week.

But with a few swigs from a bottle of whiskey on-stage, Koe started to grow stronger and more animated. As he did, the crowd of revelers beneath him devolved into a sea of raucous zombies, like a beer-soaked, less-choreographed, and more violent version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.

But instead of craving brains, we all craved more beers… and more Koe.

“I wrote this song for people who like to gossip and can’t keep their mother-fucking mouth shut,” he said to introduce “Something to Talk About.”

Several zombies took Koe’s cue and started fights near stage-left and outside the bathrooms, but no one except security seemed to notice. We’d been sucked into Koe’s orbit, and there was no escape until we all woke up the next morning with a headache and some extra merch we didn’t remember buying (even my wife, my sober driver for the night, felt hungover the next day just from being in Koe’s presence).

Middle fingers were raised to the sky. Consciousness and personal space were optional. Plastic cups were stacked skyward in raised hands everywhere the eye could see. And Koe’s voice never wavered, filling the room and echoing off the spilled blood, sweat, and beer.

Koe’s music videos alone can give you a hangover. So you can imagine how dead my fellow zombies and I felt the next morning after stumbling within a few feet of the Sadboi Cowboi Hangover Machine himself.

“Here’s to the LA Dodgers winning the World Series. FUCK the Astros, huh?!” he said as he finished off “Austin.”

And with that simple phrase, the LA crowd descended into a madness that I can only hope to piece together from some grainy, shaky cellphone footage and a few bruises. It was quite a night, especially for a Wednesday….

And even though it shaved a few years off my life, I can’t wait to see this guy live again… eventually.

For now, even a week later, “I just need some sober sleep.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock