Cue the second the set and the mighty Steve Vai, oh my god, he should be locked up for being freakishly fast!. We get a special treat not seen before, Frank up on the big screen with, the rest of the band syncing live on stage!! Lump in the throat time.
Were to begin. It,s really a paragraph of superlatives.
Like the one above I too had my reservations about seeing the son of the man I most admire as a musician.
There were a lot of us there spread throughout the venue. Nice old building , reminds me of some places back home (nr: wolverhampton where original concert for Halloween last year was cancelled).
We could have all wished for any of 200 or more songs, so complete satisfaction was obviously a no-goer............or was it.
A very tight band indeed...more later, The 3 months rehearsal certainly paid dividends, and we have to remember that Frank did a very similar thing...mass rehearsal for months on end, and listen to the results of that..........the word perfect is used loosely worldwide, but not in this house, and franks music is as close to perfect as will ever be.
So the concert itself.
Well the 30 minute warm up of his Dad performing at the roxy was a nice taster........seems obvious the complete roxy DVD will be released very soon after this tour.
Hey Napoleon you were a skinny guy then, i'd forgotten till the film reminded me, and wow you still have a great voice.....is that all the galoot calogna ....
My son (nearly 16 and a very high grade guitarist already) made the comment at this point that frank was first and foremost a composer, then a guitarist , and that made his music all the more fantastic (teenage thoughts). He also noticed on the film the total dedication and almost awesome fear of the band members of doing anything wrong that would ignite frank's wrath. (rather astute comment from a teenager his dad thought).
Then a very tight segue straight into the band. Wonderful and nice to see Dweezil using one of his Dad,s old Gibson SG,s from , I'm guessing , about 65.
I thought all the pieces on that first section were a delight to hear, especially for me the "Were Only In It For The Money" tracks.
King Kong was the first track that made me start with delight, Dweezil bringing his own interpretation into a marvelous piece of music that lends itself specifically to a variety of possibilities...check out the various versions that Frank did for proof of this.
"Village of the Sun" into an awe-inspiring "Echidna's Arf"...well that was something else , and to this point a definite highlight.
Then what turned out to be the venues intiation, problems began and dweezil's effects consul and very soon his mike as well started having power surges .
Rather a lot of rushing around by sound engineers to get to the crux of it all , and a lot of frustration on Dweezil's part (understandably) . While this was going on they (not quite, but almost ) jammed Flambay...excellent. Still the problem wasn't sorted, you could feel Dweezil's frustration in the hall. He then came to the mike and explained and apologised (was showing signs of stress (hey dweeze it can happen to anyone...don't sweat it). Talking into the mike gave him a shock~not a 9volt shock as he jokingly said.
so the search for the problem continued, and with a bit of encouragement from the vaultmeister...Mr Joe Traver's we got the bonus of "Pound for a Brown".........amazing, another highlight for me, I love this track.
Dweezil made the decision to go straight to the amp...heck who needs effects when youve rehearsed this well.
got a brilliant interpretation of "Inca Roads"....dweezil vented his frustration on the guitar solo and it was fantastic.
Short intermission...shorter than normal to make up for the issue.Dweezil came back on stage hinting of surprises and curfew extensions , and Steve Vai came on standing next to Napoleon.
Here is where I digress for a moment, please excuse me and stick with it.
This is a thankyou from the bottom of my heart to Steve Vai. Not many years ago , about 2 now, I won one of those competitions you never do. I took my , then youg son, to see a G3 concert with Joe Satrinai/Bob Fripp and Steve Vai in and we both went to meet them afterwards. Specifically Steve Vai.
My son was young and impressionable , and totaly besotted by Steve Vai .This was were the wrong words from Steve Vai ..or Joe come to that, would have destroyed my sons life.
oops, excuse me, memories and emotions.
Well Steve you gave my son what he wanted to hear, and you gave us (The Kitchenaires~remember) a momento that we are all delighted with.
I can never thankyou enough for the words you said to my son (he is now a grade 7 guitarist intending to follow in yourshoes( and it,s looking possible to...lol)
Right were were we...ah yes part 2....
The 2nd part of the set emphasised the later years of Frank's career and were great to here put next to the enormous catalogue of music he gave to us all.Well not quite gave , but when franks music is indeed priceless he almost gave it away.
Without terry bozzio for the english part of the tour Joe had his work cut out for the performance of Black Page but hey Joe you did great.
I saw T.Bozzio play this first time in 1977 , yes he is amazing , but Joe performing this was no issue or waste, very good indeed.
Zomby Woof and Steve letting it go, wow ...I know how Steve Vai plays, or as frank used to introduce him, "the man with the blue rinse hair"...lolol...remember Steve ..and you Dweezil .
Zomby woof, never a big favourite of mine, but it was bought to life this night.
Then my own swan song, when I go 6 foot under I want this played, and you did folks and it was superb "Peaches en Regalia".
A well stretched out Montana...always a fun and exciting song performed by frank and you did him proud Dweezil.
We were all forgetting the middle section of problems by now and enjoying the whole thing completely.
Before the last song was played Dweezil said "we'll forget the off/onstage bit and get on with it....well done dweezil , frank would have done that too.
Sofa...oh boy...nuff said.
Trouble Every day/Orange County Lumber Truck.....what a night/what a concert.
Oh I forgot.....grown men were known to weep right about now....hands up me included.
The film screen came down ...jeez this is hard even to write.......frank was on stage...yes for me he was on stage.......they phased out the frank band and dweezils band played the backing while frank gave us chungas revenge.
Dweezil had the best seat (stand actually) in the audience watching his dad ...Oh boy...if dweezil didnt have a tear in his eye, then he could well have been the only one in their.
For me that part was all too much, to see the great man their playing that.
anyway it was absolutely brilliant...and they then finished with 2 more inlcuding token of my extreme and left us all dumbfounded.
What can I say that I haven't already.
dweezil you've come along way since I saw you at the hammersmith odeon with your dad and steve vai as well on the 18/19 june 1982.
I was at all the Hammersmith shows from 1978~82 and they were a delight.
I remember very well indeed Dweezil, you being introduced on stage for the encore by your dad. Enter stage left this young...about 14 was it~ long haired boy with sticky monsters all over his gutar. Middle stage frank , and behind franks left shoulder Steve Vai.
"Stevie' Spanking " was played and the 3 of you battled it out. Smiles all round, ......memories ain't they just wonderful.
And that's what it's all about , and this manchester show has put one more into the memory banks.
The only way I can complete this is with my usual signature stamp (for those that know me)