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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:46 am 
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To all the naysayers, Zappa know it alls, and ball-lickers (preferability Frunobulax's) who roam these forums hiding behind your computer screens spewing negativity from the comfort of your own special little card-board box- last nights show was the best ZPZ concert I have seen- EVER.

Ok, so I have only seen five (don't laugh, i'm not rich!)- maybe not as much as some of you, but that's enough to know. I also saw Frank when he rolled through Chicago in '88 at the young, tender (and impressionable!) age of 18. Yes, only one time, but I have spent the better part of 25 years listening, learning and playing this music constantly, so bite me. (Hard and on the neck, right below the ear....oh sorry, where was i....)

I have seen the first ZPZ tour on and most of the line-ups of the ZPZ band w/ and w/o alumni. This new band knocked it out of the fucking ball-park- right from the start. New life folks. Why do you think Frank changed his bands often? What is ya, stupids (Chicago accent please)? Yes, most of the old band is gone. Sheila of course is still there and better than ever, and Ben too- both amazing. But this was the first time I have seen Ryan, Kurt and Chris (his birthday, btw). It's not like he was replacing a Colaiuta for a Wackerman or something crazy like that... And of course only- the one and only- Dweezil on guitar. Yes, one guitar player, except Ben played a little on the Black Page # 2. I think...(little hazy, somewhere in the second set.)

Jamie is gone, sad but true, (he is an excellent guitarist- especially loved his usual jazzy one guitar solo a night spotlight) but he was not missed. Same with Joe. Great drummer- but time to move over. Ryan killed it (that's a good thing!) completely. Super tight and right on the money. New life people, new energy. Do not fear change (or the reaper, I guess, i fear him...shit)! As for Dweezil. he handled the ultra-heavy guitar load like a fucking champion or a fucking monster- which ever you prefer. This was basically (without a Ruth type person, unless she/he was sleeping...), the line-up of the "Roxy" album which as I am sure you all know is the point of the fucking tour. Let me first say that they pretty much recreated the album note for note- with perfection and absolute Balls, but with a laid back feel that only comes from complete comfortability with the material and they definitely had a blast doing it. There were smiles all around. They perform this music with complete reverence and it shows. And they rocked it hard! No bugs in the system either. There was a tiny bit of pre-show un-muted cable noise/popping sounds, etc..- but at least they weren't ringing out the system or trying to fix Dweezil's rig for some reason or another- none of that BS. The whole crew- complete pros and everything was right on. The solo's were fantastic- gotta hand to Dweezil who took the majority of them, Combining quotes of his father solo's with his own "Air Sculpting". I am still screaming for more, my girlfriend has already left for work so it's cool. Dweezil has really taken to task recreating the exact sounds, style and attitude of his fathers playing, while at the same time retaining his own guitarist identity. I hope they make these shows available. I have my small venue tour FLAC's somewhere (where you can hear me yelling a lot during stage silences). Chicago, Mayne Stage Theater, some time ago and actually a block from my stinky card-board box.

Dweezil- if your reading this, your father- wherever he is, is damn fucking proud of you. I am, was and will be forever and so was the Chicago audience if last nights reaction was any indication. The Love! I was blown away, and the Copernicus Center sounded great and is a very cool/groovy looking room to boot. I danced almost the entire night- I found a nice spot so as not to block anyone's view and went crazy. How could you not. I also made a lot of new friends. The tempos were of course the slower funky as shit one's from the "Roxy" album as opposed to the equally funky as shit super fast tempos found later on the Helsinki CD (YCDTOSA Vol. II).

In closing, please stop whining. Who gives a fuck? Certainly not Dweezil Zappa. They were most excellent last evening. I hope I don't get banned for whatever reason, but WTF.....


Here is the setlist from memory, please correct me if I am wrong...

Setlist:

Set 1;
Penguin In Bondage
Pygmy Twylyte
Dummy Up
Village Of The Sun
Echidna's Arf (Of You)
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing
Cheepnis
Son Of Orange County
More Trouble Every Day (killer guitar solo)
Be-bop Tango (with dance contest)
Entertainment Tonight theme music

Set II: (I think this was the order...)

Florentine Pogen (read em' and weep!)
Teenage Wind
Teenage Prostitute
The Black Page 1 and 2
Flakes
Broken hearts are for Assholes (your an asshole too)
I come from nowhere
Wino man
Muffin man

(Also somewhere in here was band and audience concerto # (fart noise)

No encore. None needed.

That's all. Thank you and have I nice day.

P.S. Found this bit of trivia on Wiki: The album primarily comprised recordings from three shows at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, and featured tracks never before or thereafter released on any Zappa/Mothers album. Material from the Roxy performances were partially overdubbed. The other tracks came from the second show on Mothers Day 1974 in the Chicago Auditorium Theatre and the May 8th Show in Edinboro State College (also 1974).


Last edited by feloniouspunk on Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:20 am 
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Golly, those are some strong opinions! Did they do Back In Black too? I know they have somewhere along the line this tour. And thank you for the additional info on Roxy!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:22 am 
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Yes Calvin2, very strong opinions to my mind as well. I'd like to tackle one of them:

Quote:
idiots who think the only good Zappa was pre-'70's Zappa


I doubt there are too many of them here. Everyone seems to like the 1970s era Zappa as good as the 1960s Zappa. At least I can't name a single forum member on this board who think Zappa jumped the shark after disbanding the original Mothers. Certainly, there are those who do not like the post-'70's Zappa. And that's a position that is much more understandable. But many people here seem to accept everything Zappa did.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:41 am 
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I know, Im sorry. I had been reading the forums yesterday before the show and it seemed liked a lot of complaining and negativity about the new band and all- I don't know, I went over the edge. I was just super psyched and maybe shouldn't have written what I wrote or read the forums. It had been a long time since I visited this forum and I was just looking for a setlist. Then I got sucked into what people were saying. I hope (seriously) I didn't offend anyone. Maybe I should delete it and just publish the setlist...or not. I guess I do feel strongly opinionated- which is what I had gone off the rails about- funny enough. Other peoples opinions. I let it get to me. I feel Dweezil is doing his best to protect and perform his birthright. He is a Zappa. While I don't always agree with the ZFT and the way they do things, but that is what they are doing. Protecting the legacy as best they can.

No Back in Black, sorry. i read that too and thought it might be cool, but the second set was super bad-ass.

Edit: I erased the part calling the pre-70 only Zappa heads idiots. I felt bad, and will probably erase more as the day progresses. Now that I have ranted I feel better yet guilty at the same time.

Edit # 2. Also erased some other choice name calling and left it to a minimum- but that's it! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:21 am 
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Keep your post! And try not to take my opinions personally! :)
I was at one of the 88 shows too, and at last night's show. I very much enjoyed it and have a bunch of good things to say. But, the "stop whining bullshit", well, you can call it whining if you want, but I admit to having opinions on these things. And then I sometimes write them down.
They definitely started off on a good tune. Gumbo Variations had a GREAT feel. Scheila put it into overdrive.
The most fun I had though was the Roadie singing Wino Man. In this band, every member except Scheila and Kurt were never quite at full-tilt, but this guy gave every ripped vocal cord on that tune. I was really hoping they let him take I Come From Nowhere as I think he could've killed that too.
The worst part was the drums. Sorry, he may grow into the part, but the drumming was weak imo. Any drummers out there, please tell me I'm wrong and that it was just an off night. They are going to have a lot of dates over the next several months, so I'm going to have to youtube some stuff later on and see if it clicks after more practise. I definitely got the feeling that the band had not practised to FZ levels of detail. The precise shit was muddled, the greasy stuff was stilted. I'll throw the drummer a bone and add that Roxy NEEDS a percussionist. Having mallets covered by a keyboard was very much a "make-do" situation. Keyboardists can easily get great samples of vibraxylomarimbells, but they rarely perform the parts as a percussionist would. (Yes, I know that keyboards are technically a percussion instrument) It kinda worked on the pad parts, but so much of Roxy is pointillistic, dotted by percussive attack, that to have that get legato treatment makes the whole thing off. Ryan was good on pt.1 of Black Page, I'll give him that. Overall, Kurt saved his ass all night long. Ryan should give a percentage of his paycheck to Kurt, who has an awesome ability to keep things on track when others around him are hitting clams. Kurt easily won MVP.
DZ did a great job conducting the audience. I've seen him conduct several times now and he is getting more comfortable with it. It was fun to have some audience participation and the results sounded cool! I was right in the middle, 16 rows back, great stereo separation, especially on the toms, so it was a treat to hear the audience mix in with the band. The audience did get into the show, I think to DZ's distraction a bit, when various groups of people were screaming out phrases all together as loud as they could.
I felt uncomfortable with Dummy Up. It had the feel of a high school play. It was part straight reading of the material, part giving it their take and part acting the parts in-voice as with Napolean's slang. They gave it 100% and I appreciate that they tried to get some paraphernalia involved and get the crowd to cheer, but it was corny. I'm not sure there is a good way to cover this piece.
The tunes on Roxy are some of the Most Performed by cover bands and indeed ZPZ has played much of this material before. With the 40th Anniversary hullaballoo, I was hoping for extreme treatment of this particular album and it was... well, it wasn't.
The best performance, imo, was Flakes. It was the only tune that the entire band inhabited. It was all there, the feel, the tones, the keys that sounded like guitars, the guitar that sounds like a synth. If the house had the vox up a bit more it could have been a live to 2 trk wonder. Slipping into Broken Hearts Are for Assholes was actually a step down. When the guitar kicks in, the tone was right, but the dynamics were squashed resulting in a lessening of impact. A slight criticism, but Flakes was so good it stood out to me.
Lastly, I did run into Ronnys! Always good to see for a quick chat. But no PIB! I'm assuming he was there though as he's got a pretty good streak going.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:33 am 
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I don't know why they want to do this without extra percussion. A favourite aspect of the album is the set up with two great drummers + percussion, and then some strong horns, led by Bruce Fowler. Not to mention Tom.

Suggestion for next tour: Dweezil plus synclavier.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Hey I was there too! And strangely enough, I ran into Arkay at about the same time he ran into me!

Arkay stole my post, but I'll trudge forward anyway. By way of credentials, I saw every band era Frank had from 1973 on. I've seen ZPZ 6 or 7 times, including twice since Dweezil excised 2nd guitar and tuned percussion from the band. I thought the 1st mini band wasn't that good. Last night's version was quite good, except for the drummer, who seemed to play the Cliff notes versions of his parts, in slow motion. The bass player was working extra hard all night to keep up, and I think Arkay is right that he was carrying the rhythm section on his back. Thank god he did.

I think ZPZ needs a 2nd guitar. And if you're gonna play Roxy, you'd better have a marimba player. Chris did his best to approximate the percussion parts, but it sounded off to my ear. Better to not play percussion heavy songs, or get another player....

Having said all of that, I loved the show. Sheila's sax solos KILLED. Dweezil's solos KILLED. Sheila's singing on I Come From Nowhere was funny as shit. And the band singing/playing Happy Birthday to Chris was hilarious: it was like the original Approximate, where everyone played the song rhythmically correct, but chose random pitches. Very cool. It was nice to see Ben playing his trombone, and even guitar on Black Page.

Now, I gotta complain about the drunk guy who danced all night and was screaming his head off, back around row AA main level. This guy nearly ruined the show for those of us sitting behind him. DICKHEAD! Sure hope that wasn't you feloniouspunk..... GRRR.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:49 pm 
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I gotta get a new camera app for my phone. This is the best pic I got:

Image

This is a pic of a moving hologram that a friend had with him when I saw him at the show. He explained that he discovered it for sale at a Dead show and bought a dozen of them to give as gifts. He decided that it is only right that DZ has a pic of his Dad in a light sabre battle with Jerry, so he waited around at the autograph table after the show to give it to him:

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Nice reviews. Stoked for my 9th show in Buffalo on Thursday. Merch Report?
No Road Tapes Vol. 2, or Roxy Soundrack CD? :cry: What about Trout Mask Replica? Hoping to at least grab that. They had Bat Chain Puller on the table last summer, so I'm guessing they'll have this.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:08 pm 
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Merch was good. I was glad to see the Help I'm a Rock vinyl. Other than that, the cds/dvds were all typical. No Trout Mask, but still Bat Chain.
For shirts, they look great. If you want a big pic of FZ's face on your torso. There were a few variations of that. One like Understanding America, one like Lumpy Gravy (actually a great green tint to it), I think 2 others in that theme. I really did like the front of the Roxy tour shirt, similar to the album... I was tempted, but refrained. The hoodie was awesome, but at $75 was not gonna be an impulse buy. There was an imperial patch that looked good.
See if you can figure out what the notebook is all about. Literally a small notebook with FZ's name on it. Looks like something you'd write out your grocery list with.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Great reviews and pics, guys! :twisted:

Now, I noticed there were some different songs in feloniouspunk's review/setlist compared to Arkay's review. So what was the setlist and was it the same or similar to the Lincoln, NE show the other night?

Thanks in advance.

Btw, I haven't been updating the "ZPZ Tour 2013: SETLISTS" thread as much because Dweezil hasn't been posting the setlists to the most recent shows...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:12 pm 
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This is as much as I remember, not 100% sure since I'm just going from memory.

set1
The Gumbo Variations
Roxy & Elsewhere in its entirety:
Penguin In Bondage
Pygmy Twylyte
Dummy Up
Village Of The Sun
Echidna's Arf (Of You)
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
Cheepnis
Son Of Orange County
More Trouble Every Day
Be-Bop Tango (Of the Old Jazzmen's Church)
Entertainment Tonight theme music

set2
Florentine Pogen
Teenage Wind
Teenage Prostitute
The Black Page 1,2
Flakes
Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
Wonderful Wino
I Come From Nowhere
Muffin Man

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:15 am 
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Throw in Happy Birthday and you got it.

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