What a fantastic night!. I met up with many FZ/DZ fans and I was made very welcome. They are united by their enthusiasm and love for FZ’s music and Dweezil's ZPZ mission to keep Frank’s music out there in live format for all of us!
The afternoon soundcheck was fascinating as it was very much a working session, being the last chance for the band to dial in with George Duke and rehearse his section of the set planned for the evening. George Duke is a genuine legend and it was incredible to see and feel the respect that Dweezil and the whole band have for this outstanding musician, for so long a key part of FZ’s work. The soundcheck work done, it was clear everyone in the band was really looking forward to sharing the stage with George later in the evening.
The show was just incredible. The crowd was up for it and very much behind Dweezil and the band. The opening was Gumbo Variations, which the band has honed to perfection now. Scheila gives it everything on this one every time. Then the show was made up of the Apostrophe material in album order. Yellow Snow was a definite crowd pleaser and I thought Exentrifugal Forz was special last night. George Duke was introduced by a clearly excited Dweezil and the band and George treated everyone to ‘Uncle Remus’ . Fantastic doesn’t adequately convey how exciting this was – if I were a teenage girl I would have thrown my panties!! After Stinkfoot George returned for a solo on RDNZL which was followed by Pygmy Twilight. This was fulfilment of a personal wish for me – when DZ posted that George was to be joining for the LA shows and asked for set requests I posted a request for Pygmy Twilight and mentioned the footage on youtube of the ‘74 LA show’s Pygmy Twilight which shows a youthful George really getting into the song! IMHO Dweezil’s current rendition of the solo in Pygmy Twilight (as captured so well on The Return of the Son Of disc) is a standout part of the ZPZ current repertoire and last night he really delivered on this one. I am running out of superlatives at this point, but the band and George did Echidna’s Arf and then it was into Inca Roads. I can’t begin to describe George’s keyboards on this iconic song. His facial expressions throughout were priceless – sheer joy!
The show wasn’t just all about George though. Scheila, Pete, Billy, Chris and Jamie were great, as usual. Ben just gets better and better. Final standout, for me, was Joe Travers! Long after the show had finished, people were still talking about his absolutely knockout drum solo and also the little improv percussion piece that Dweezil dreamed up at soundcheck. Well done, Joe!
City of Tiny Lights, I Promise Not to Come in Your Mouth, and finally Cruisin’ for Burgers got us to the part where the inevitable Encore was demanded by a fired up audience. George was on again for a great interplay version of Eat That Question and then the band wrapped up with Baby Snakes, an hilarious version of Chrissy Puked Twice (Jamie was the best dressed Devil you've ever seen, all neatly groomed, suited and booted for the show that was being filmed!) and the final song was Muffin Man.
Outstanding. Oh, and they’re on again tonight! Go on - Get there if you can!!