07 July 2012

Zappa Played Zappa

Dweezil & cohorts came to the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, Massachusetts on Sunday night the 1st;  and it was a splendid show. He has done the Zappa Plays Zappa tour at least twice before, so I reckoned on his doing things well.  More than (merely) that, he is certainly his father’s son, in that he is one serious guitar-player.  From his dad, he has learnt to shape a guitar solo magnificently.  The band was tight, so chalk up another musical skill passed on to some degree from father to son.

If I have one quarrel with the show, it is that the band were fairly uniformly loud, and the textures fairly uniformly dense; so that my friend (who did not know all of the numbers beforehand from the recorded legacy of the late, great FZ) came away from the show feeling (rather misled, I should say) that all Zappa’s stuff sounds pretty much the same.  As a result, instead of hungry to investigate the source recordings (e.g.), he feels that he has had pretty much all the Zappa he needs to hear for a long time.  And (with a tear in my eye) I must admit I understand his viewpoint (or auditionpoint).

Apart from the too-uniform density, if a genii came to me to grant one wish, I should have liked to hear a mallets player in the band.  I have an idea Dweezil has toured with a mallets player before, so I am sure there are reasons, or circumstances, or just-the-way-it-happeneds.

All that said, again:  a terrific show, and Dweezil has plenty of the guitarist fire in his belly.

What they played:

“The Gumbo Variations”
“Hungry Freaks, Daddy”
“Oh, No”
“Let’s Make the Water Turn Black” (instrumental)
“Dirty Love”
“Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance” (a little on the fast side, but rather impressive, even so; lotta words to chew out, there)
“Cosmik Debris”
“Apostrophe (’)” (goes without saying, nervy of them just to attempt it, but beyond that, impressive in the execution)
“Black Page #1” (with special “Terry-isms” afterwards)
“Black Page #2”

[ here there was a detour of sorts, including a roadie dressed in a jumpsuit, for which he did not quite have the figure, shall we say, singing a Van Halen song (“Call Me a Doctor”?) ]

“You Didn’t Try to Call Me”
“City of Tiny Lights”
“Orange County Lumber Truck”
“Trouble Every Day” (in a rhythmic manner closer to later FZ tours than to the original)
“I’m the Slime”

“Camarillo Brillo”
“Debra Kadabra”
“Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy”
“Willie the Pimp”

If Dweezil comes back to southern New England, I’m going, again.

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