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 Post subject: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:48 pm 
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I was at this show and I have quite a bit of criticism for it. Can I post about it on this forum, or am I going to get slammed for not having a totally positive opinion about it?


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:50 am 
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you may get slammed.
big deal.
all opinions should be welcome.

spill it.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:21 am 
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lapsed maps wrote:
you may get slammed.
big deal.
all opinions should be welcome.

spill it.

+1

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:10 pm 
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OK then, I'll start with the venue. This theater should NOT be called a music theater. They should rename it Royal Oak Echo Chamber. There was so much echo in the place I couldn't understand anything anybody said when they spoke. I hope they don't ever plan to book that place again. The seats were small and crammed together very closely, and the rows were tightly spaced so if anyone needed to get up to use the restroom, EVERYONE in the row between them and the aisle had to get up to allow them to get out. Also, beer was incredibly expensive (I paid $17 for two cans of beer, not including the tip). Maybe that last one is typical for these kinds of things, though.

Moving on to the sound: The mixing was TERRIBLE. This might be due to them trying to balance the sound inside an echo chamber, but it was really cutting on the higher frequencies and very muddy in the low frequency. Everything in between seemed to get drowned out completely. I don't know how much blame to assign to their sound guy on this but I wish they could have done a better job. Also I was in the balcony for this, and it's possible it sounded better on the main floor.

Next up, Dweezil's band: I don't know if the band was having an off night or what, but there were some pretty terrible mistakes (most notably by the drummer, and most evident in "Andy", of all songs.) Chris Norton also had to do a couple of solos, notably on Inca Roads, which mostly consisted of walking his fingers up the keyboard over and over. Scheila Gonzalez did a pretty good job at playing, BUT whenever she'd switch to certain sounds on her synth, her keyboard would become a piercing sonic weapon, whereas other sounds were barely audible. It's like the sounds she chose weren't thought about at all when they did the sound check. Dweezil's soloing that night seemed to rely on practice scales a lot as well. He didn't play like that on every solo, fortunately. Anyhow, moving on: I've never been a fan of Ben Thomas' voice, though I think he's a fine instrumentalist. He should stay with them for sure, but he should only be doing backup vocals. He just doesn't have the pipes to be a lead. Combining that fact with the echo chamber meant that I could barely discern any lyrical content. As for the band as a whole, they really need to add at LEAST two more people to the band because right now everyone has multiple instrumental duties on top of vocals, and when they had to switch instruments it often took too long, leaving a very noticeable gap in the music when they did so.

I don't want to get into a breakdown of every song, but I think they should probably have rehearsed the OSFA stuff more before touring. However, the band as a whole seemed to do better on the 2nd half of the show. I'm guessing that they'd had more practice on most of those songs. They actually performed a rendition of Sinister Footwear II that was pretty well done, if a bit slow-paced. I have to say I was also a little disappointed that they didn't seem to be having a lot of fun, but then again that could have been due to all the technical problems making it a non-fun grinding chore to play that night. I guess I was just hoping for a little more spontaneity. When I see videos of other ZPZ stuff on Youtube they seem to be in a more jokey, lighthearted mood, which I didn't get from this event. And of course Zappa seemed to have no problem with his band getting jokey and playful, which made for some really great moments, like the "Hi-ho Silver" stuff on YCDTOSA.

I'll happily go to another ZPZ concert and I'll say that the ticket prices weren't unreasonable, even though this time around I didn't feel I got my money's worth. The show had sold out (I do think it was a real sold-out show because I didn't spot many empty seats), so hopefully that will encourage them to seek a better venue. The Fox Theater in Detroit has pretty good acoustics and holds more seats (which are also WAY MORE COMFORTABLE), and it's generally classier than Royal Oak, so I hope they pick that the next time they come to Detroit. That way they can make more money (to pay for more band members) and I can have a better concert-going experience.

So that's my ranting review. Sorry if I offended anyone, but hey, I paid $120 for two tickets and that should entitle me to post on this forum that nobody reads :)


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:31 pm 
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^ You went to see a nostalgia act performed by hacks. This tour exists to make money. If it existed for musical reasons then these fellows would be creating their own music not replaying something that has already been performed with authenticity, passion and sincerity (many years ago) by it's originator.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:38 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
^ You went to see a nostalgia act performed by hacks. This tour exists to make money. If it existed for musical reasons then these fellows would be creating their own music not replaying something that has already been performed with authenticity, passion and sincerity (many years ago) by it's originator.


Really fuckhead? They're hacks? Ugh. die.


Leaving in 5mins for OSFA preformed by not ONE hack.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:47 pm 
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^Yeah. They're hacks. That's probably why you like 'em, chump.
How hard do you think it is to keep playing something you've already learned? Going to this show is like paying to watch assembly line workers. These guys should punch a clock before they get on stage.

Rubbed into the ground........


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:34 pm 
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Yeah, c'mon. Stop touring altogether. What money you could make to help the budget for future releases isn't all that important. Let the company release one or two recordings a year from now on, that's the only interest you need to garner for Frank. I mean who cares, he's dead and there's nothing new coming down the pipeline.

:roll:

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Last edited by calvin2hikers on Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:58 pm 
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Maybe Detroit's just a freaking dump and the venue/sound issues are beyond the band's control :P . I saw night 1 in Buffalo, and my only gripe is I wish Billy Hulting was back in the band on vibes and percussion. There were a few clams(yes, Andy) but nothing major. The real wooden & metal sounds that Ruth played which are now thru MIDI synths just don't cut it 100% for me, same with the ROXY shows last fall, but I can look past that.

Ben Thomas is great on vox, lead and backing, plus his horn playing is fantastic. Of the few issues with this band, he's not one of them. If you think he sucks and you want Ray, Ike, or Napi; well go see those guys play in some shithole bar with some half-assed band. Just got tix again for Rochester 7/29. Gonna be great again.


Last edited by Fred_Zappelin on Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:17 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:20 pm 
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^ Tough crowd in Detroit! :wink: 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:02 pm 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
^ You went to see a nostalgia act performed by hacks. This tour exists to make money. If it existed for musical reasons then these fellows would be creating their own music not replaying something that has already been performed with authenticity, passion and sincerity (many years ago) by it's originator.


The annual ZPZ tours PARTLY exist to make money. And that's a GOOD thing, for more than obvious reasons relating to the survival of the music itself & the employees, musicians, promoters, etc., involved. But that doesn't mean it exists strictly for that reason. Because if you had ever seen ZPZ live (I have 6 times), you'd quite clearly realize that. It would be great if Dweezil could afford to annually tour playing his own music, but unfortunately, that's not the case...

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Disco Boy wrote:
It would be great if Dweezil could afford to annually tour playing his own music, but unfortunately, that's not the case...


Hate to be devil's advocate here, but if DZ really wanted to play his own music across the country he could. It just would be riding in vans and playing small clubs, not on Def Leppard-size tour buses and in large theaters/music halls. That's what Keneally does, and he doesn't complain. Just sayin' :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:05 pm 
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I think that, of all people who can/should play Frank's music, his son is at the top of the list. Those other singers mentioned are dynamite, and right now at least Napoleon is touring in Europe with Banned from Utopia, which is made up of Zappa alumni, which I wouldn't consider a shitty band by any stretch. I don't know about Ray or Ike. That said, I'd still buy ZPZ tickets over those other guys for the simple fact that it's Frank's kid and he's obviously doing it out of love for his dad and for the music. When he talks about Frank he still gets all broken up about it, and I feel for him because honestly I'm still pretty broken up about it, especially having had to face the last 20+ years of bullshit this country has gone through without him.

Anyhow, I didn't expect to see original, unique performances. I know Dweezil plays most of the music straight and doesn't try to deviate much from the recorded versions. The sound of the hall and the mix and the lack of adequate rehearsal and/or top-notch musicianship was my concern. I'm sorry to disagree with you, Fred, but I'm not at all on board with Ben on lead vocals. Yes, he can carry a tune. Yes, he's a good, maybe even a great musician. But no, he's not nearly the kind of voice who should sing lead on Zappa songs (in my opinion). He doesn't have a lot of style and he sounds like he has a perpetual cold. But even that wouldn't have bothered me much if the rest of it had fallen together better. Maybe they should look for another black guy to sing lead :shock:

I don't know about the hassles of putting a show like this together, but I assume budget is a major reason why there are only 6 players on this tour. They really need to do something about the instrument multi-tasking, though, because it's affecting their performance in a detrimental way.

P.S. @downer mydnyte: I know Zappa didn't act concerned about whether anyone listened to his music after he was gone, but I love the shit and if Dweezil is willing to go to the trouble of learning how to play it, I'm more than willing to pay to hear it. I'll even admit that maybe Zappa would have wanted Dweezil to do his own music, but I think it's a great service to us that he chose to play his dad's.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:28 am 
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downer mydnyte wrote:
^ You went to see a nostalgia act performed by hacks. This tour exists to make money. If it existed for musical reasons then these fellows would be creating their own music not replaying something that has already been performed with authenticity, passion and sincerity (many years ago) by it's originator.


DZ sings 'WALK' to dm

Can't you see? I'm easily bothered by persistence
One step from lashing out at you
You want in to get under my skin and call yourself a friend
I've got more friends like you, what do I do?

Is there no standard anymore?
What it takes, who I am, where I've been, belong
You can't be something you're not
Be yourself by yourself, stay away from me

A lesson learned in life, known from the dawn of time
Respect, walk, what did you say?
Respect, walk, are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me?

Run your mouth when I'm not around, it's easy to achieve
You cry to weak friends that sympathize
Can you hear the violins playing your song?
Those same friends tell me your every word

Is there no standard anymore?
What it takes, who I am, where I've been, belong
You can't be something you're not
Be yourself by yourself, stay away from me

A lesson learned in life, known from the dawn of time
Respect, walk, what did you say?
Respect, walk, are you talking to me?

Respect, walk, what did you say?
Respect, walk, are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me? No way punk

Respect, walk, what did you say?
Respect, walk, are you talking to me?

Respect, walk, what did you say?
Respect, walk, are you talking to me?
Are you talking to me? Walk on home downer boy

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Fred_Zappelin wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
It would be great if Dweezil could afford to annually tour playing his own music, but unfortunately, that's not the case...


Hate to be devil's advocate here, but if DZ really wanted to play his own music across the country he could. It just would be riding in vans and playing small clubs, not on Def Leppard-size tour buses and in large theaters/music halls. That's what Keneally does, and he doesn't complain. Just sayin' :wink:


Hate to bring reality into this, but DZ couldn't annually tour his music if his life depended on it at this point in time. This is not only because he is about 1/10 of the draw ZPZ currently is, he also has two kids & an ex-wife in which he pays alimony & child support to, etc. Whereas, Keneally doesn't have those concerns or options. However, like chumcloud (ZPZ's booking agent) has recently stated, next year Dweezil might embark on a short tour in support of his next studio album, which would be cool...

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Disco Boy wrote:
However, like chumcloud (ZPZ's booking agent) has recently stated, next year Dweezil might embark on a short tour in support of his next studio album, which would be cool...

If he plays on the west coast and it's anywhere north of LA. We seem to be getting skipped every other year now when it started out as every year! Are they losing money on us or what's the deal? :roll: :x

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:44 pm 
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Keneally does support work on huge tours for Vai, Satriani, that cartoon metal band, and others to pay the bills, and plays his own music on the side, mostly in California because he is passionate about it. Mike isn't paying the bills with his own brilliant songs you can be sure of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:36 am 
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Thanks for your passionate review, McMick. I hope Dweezil reads it, because you have some observations that I'm sure he wouldn't mind considering for the band's improvement.

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:30 pm 
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KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
However, like chumcloud (ZPZ's booking agent) has recently stated, next year Dweezil might embark on a short tour in support of his next studio album, which would be cool...

If he plays on the west coast and it's anywhere north of LA. We seem to be getting skipped every other year now when it started out as every year! Are they losing money on us or what's the deal? :roll: :x


What do you mean?! ZPZ play Central California every year.

FOWL wrote:
Keneally does support work on huge tours for Vai, Satriani, that cartoon metal band, and others to pay the bills, and plays his own music on the side, mostly in California because he is passionate about it. Mike isn't paying the bills with his own brilliant songs you can be sure of that.


That's part of my point. And he doesn't have kids, alimony payments, etc., to worry about...

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Disco Boy wrote:
What do you mean?! ZPZ play Central California every year.

Never closer than a three hour tour/drive for me. Both ways. Big state. I used to see three of their shows, now we have to make a multi night road trip for each one. Two this year with the SLO show but SF, Portland, Seattle and Van. BC are all metropolises with people who'll pay to see them. They play closer to a person in the Philly area than around here. It's a shame they don't play more gigs this way....hear me chumcloud? It's been dry for live Zappa around here for awhile now, except for us extreme freaks of course who'll drive/go anywhere. The masses need to hear his music or war could break out between the bassoons and tubas!!! :roll: :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:19 pm 
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KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
What do you mean?! ZPZ play Central California every year.

Never closer than a three hour tour/drive for me. Both ways. Big state. I used to see three of their shows, now we have to make a multi night road trip for each one. Two this year with the SLO show but SF, Portland, Seattle and Van. BC are all metropolises with people who'll pay to see them. They play closer to a person in the Philly area than around here. It's a shame they don't play more gigs this way....hear me chumcloud? It's been dry for live Zappa around here for awhile now, except for us extreme freaks of course who'll drive/go anywhere. The masses need to hear his music or war could break out between the bassoons and tubas!!! :roll: :shock:

What are you complaining about KK? I think ZPZ has done an outstanding job of hitting the smaller out of the way places in Nor Cal more than any major band would. They've played Redding once, Chico twice, Sacramento about four times, Davis, Santa Rosa, Arcata, plus Reno, Tahoe, and all the Bay Area shows. I think we've been fed pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:56 pm 
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KUIII wrote:
KAPT.KIIIRK wrote:
Disco Boy wrote:
What do you mean?! ZPZ play Central California every year.

Never closer than a three hour tour/drive for me. Both ways. Big state. I used to see three of their shows, now we have to make a multi night road trip for each one. Two this year with the SLO show but SF, Portland, Seattle and Van. BC are all metropolises with people who'll pay to see them. They play closer to a person in the Philly area than around here. It's a shame they don't play more gigs this way....hear me chumcloud? It's been dry for live Zappa around here for awhile now, except for us extreme freaks of course who'll drive/go anywhere. The masses need to hear his music or war could break out between the bassoons and tubas!!! :roll: :shock:

What are you complaining about KK? I think ZPZ has done an outstanding job of hitting the smaller out of the way places in Nor Cal more than any major band would. They've played Redding once, Chico twice, Sacramento about four times, Davis, Santa Rosa, Arcata, plus Reno, Tahoe, and all the Bay Area shows. I think we've been fed pretty well.

That was 3+ years ago. What have they done for me now? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:13 pm 
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They did Chico and Sac in 2013 plus you got to go to SLO last year and VEGAS next week! Now put your official ZPZ pacifier back in your mouth little fella and go back to sleep. Everything will be OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Detroit Show
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:51 pm 
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KUIII wrote:
They did Chico and Sac in 2013 plus you got to go to SLO last year and VEGAS next week! Now put your official ZPZ pacifier back in your mouth little fella and go back to sleep. Everything will be OK.

I want more live Zappa! All the time, anywhere for no reason at all...now that would be cool to me.Lots of Zappa bands to pick from, oh yeah! :D

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