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 Post subject: 18 October 2006: Denver, CO
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:31 pm 
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Did you attend this show at the Paramount Theater in Denver?

Post your impressions/photos/reviews here.

Please do not post in this thread if you did not attend this show.

Thanks!

Zappa.com Admin
www.zappa.com


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 Post subject: Good show
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:32 am 
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I saw Frank many times, even talked to him on one occassion for a little while, transcribed much of his music, played much of it while working on my music degree- just to set up the background.

I knew about 90% of the music played tonight well enough to hum or sing along with it, even the complicated stuff.

I attended shows featuring Flo and Eddy, Dunbar, Napoleon, Steve Vai, Ruth and Ian, George Duke, even Ponty, and others- so I had the original live shows to compare this with, and they are permanently etched in my memory..... as are multiple shows I've seen with John McLaughlin, Captain Beefheart, Trilok Gurtu, and other similar world class musicians.

Since I've changed as well over the years, my attitude towards music and what constitutes good music versus GREAT music has evolved I believe.

I was very enthusiastic about the early Zappa concerts I attended through the mid 70's--- they were fresh, original, and there was a certain innocence and honesty about them, and this remained true through the shows that included Brock, Vai, and Duke, and both Underwoods. Heck, I went out and started marimba lessons after seeing Ruth play----shiiiiiiiiiit!!
Incredibly inspiring.

But at a certain point- for me it seemed to change, and I did not maintain the enthusiam for the later period of Zappa's work, that featured Bozio-- it seemed-- less musical, and more based on technique and less SOUL. The word "bombastic" comes to mind-- bulldozer, perhaps. Power for the sake of power. Frankly, he looks like he's in PAIN performing, doing something excrutiating. Impressive, but like moving boulders cause he can.

Fortunately, it seemed like 70% of this show was made up of material from the mid 70's and earlier- and I think this is the bulk of Zappa's most musical period.


So, bearing this in mind, I appreciated most of the music performed in Denver that reflected these earlier periods-- and I thought it worked the best, and was most satisfying.

Once Bozio took the stage midway through the show, the show leveled out, and the energy dissapated-- not in spite of the music getting more frantic and louder-- but likely because of it. It got BORING there for a while.

By comparison, I saw Trilok Gurtu twice, play ALONE, with no amplification-- totally mind blowing--- its not how loud or fast you play that generates excitement and energy-- its something else-- its IN THE CRACKS.

I really appreciated the show the most when DYNAMICS were present.
Give me less volume at times PLEASE- for CONTRAST. I want to hear WHISPERS at times. This will make the LOUD PARTS BETTER.



Whenever Brock began singing, it was much more fun, much more melodic, and musical. He truly made this concert WORK-- without him, it would have not even come close to being a good show--- he added LIFE, and a SMILE. BRAVO!!

Who gives a shit how many notes these guys can fit in per second? Not me. It's all in DYNAMICS and MELODY.

The guitar solos mostly left me cold--- as did Zappa's later in his career when he entered his NOODLING period-- guilty of endless GNAT notes, to quote Zappa himself.

I much much more prefer the early solos up to the Roxy period-- after that-YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. deedledeedledeedle

Burnt Weenie Sandwach solos, Weasles RMF solos-Hot Rats ....AHHHHHHHHH!! TONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can HEAR the freaking guitar---

I had a lot of trouble distiguishing the guitar many times tonight cause it was all so frigging loud all of the time. I want to hear INDIVIDUAL NOTES.



Dweezil did an outstanding job CLONING his father's styles, but it was not that interesting because, it was just an IMITATION of Frank.

He does not-- despite the WILD ENTHUSIASM of the audience-- have his father's stage presence or charisma-- Frank would just stand MOTIONLESS on stage, and the music coming from his fingertips would command the focused attention of everyone clear to the back rows.

I kept wishing Dweezle would do that, just keep still--- it wasn't like he was jumping around, but he was so casual about playing, that it just seemed like the intense focus I was waiting for never came.

Frank would barely twitch an eyebrow during his solos, and it was totally mesmerizing. I really missed that.

But I suppose if Dweezle did that, he might just be accused of imitating his father....



You can only go so far imitating and playing someone else's music, even if you are capable of copying it NOTE FOR NOTE.

This is not trancendent music. It is playing the music of DEAD COMPOSERS, something which Frank made fun of regularly. It's one thing to use it sparingly in a show, but this show was ENTIRELY (except for the last piece, if I am not mistaken was Dweezle's contribution) and I will say most excellently, a CLONE of Frank's orchestration and performances with a bit of variation- but not much. I am sure the goal was to duplicate an authentic FZ concert- and for this, they were unparalleled.

So, a mixed bag--

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to re-visit a Zappa performance, but it comes with the reservation that

YOU CAN"T GO HOME AGAIN, no matter how nice the home.


The only person I've seen as many times as Zappa, has been McLaughlin-- and he continually evolves. The McLaughlin concerts I've been to, almost without exception, have been mind blowingly TRANCENDENT-- there's a whole different dimension of SOUL happening there--- it's not about notes-- 'cause Vai and Zappa certainly play as many notes as McLaughlin--- its SOMETHING ELSE-- a deeper understanding of the purpose of music, of the history, of something.

I've walked away from nearly every McLaughlin concert (but not every) and felt like I just saw people come from another planet and play for me.

But then, I remember seeing the McLaughlin trio with Dimeola, and Paco, and man.... it was ridiculous--- deedledeeldedeedle YAWNNNNNNNNNN-- even McLaughlin wanders off course...

So, its not how many notes you play--- its HOW you play 'em.....

By the way, Steve play two so-so solos, and once KICK ASS KILLER solo-- holy cow. When he hits the mark, he hits it.

By the way--- TOO LOUD--- loud is okay, but they could have mixed the board 25% less loud, and the show would have been ENORMOUSLY more enjoyable. The volume KILLED much of the details, the tone-- and we were sitting in the sweet spot. Frank was guilty of this most of the time as well-- why why why???? LOUD does not make GOOD.



As for me, I enjoyed the concert very much, and felt like my $60 was well spent (we had GREAT seats too).

To master this catalog-- and these guys played for THREE HOURS--

this is an incredible acheivement, like climbing Mt. Everest....

but you know..... when I hear about people climbing Mt. Everest, I just think..........so fucking what.

so you see my dilemma

Thanks guys a very very enjoyable evening, with some reservation

Enjoyed the show, and I look forward to better things as well.

I am sure most of the people there were totally blown away, and it was exactly their perfect cup of tea, and more power to them-- this is just one man's opinion.

Cheers :-)


Neil


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 Post subject: set list???
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:41 am 
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who's got my phatty set list???

some friends are trying to figure out what the very last tune they played was.......


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 Post subject: Denver Paramount
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:03 am 
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Location: Third Stone From The Sun
3 hours of music I never thought I'd see/hear performed live again. A Rutabega, a rutabega, rutabega... Frank I believe would be proud. Steve Vai is one creepy lookin' dood. Napolean is immortal, missed Ike but you can't have everything. Great Googley Moogley, what show.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:46 am 
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Absolutley generous set at about exactly 3 hours. I had heard and seen some of the sets from Europe and the US earlier this year but this seemed to eclipse them not only in length but in setlist variations( I could be wrong of course). Nice versions of Andy, Black Napkins, Cheapness, Torture and Advance Romance. Although I had seen them in other incarnations, I was not fortunate enough to see Bozzio or Vai with Frank. I was at Napoleon's last show with Zappa at the Greek in Berkeley in '84 and he was again fantastic tonight. A very classy job by Dweezil and the band. So nice in this day and age to get your moneys worth and then some! Although I may be able to put together most of it, if someone can post the setlist or point me in that direction I would appreciate it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:25 pm 
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Location: Evergreen, CO
Ye Olde Setliste :

Andy
Call Any Vegetable (including the 'it's so fucking great to be alive!' bit)
Tell Me you Looooove Me (like I wancha to!)
?? (someone help, what was this?)
Can't Afford no Shoes
Willie the Whimp (slow, short version of The PimP)
Pygmie Twylyte
Idiot Bastard Son
Cheapnis
I'm The Slime! Nice solos!
Improvisational number based loosely on Montana breaks(??)/ Dweezil directs the band ala Frank/ everyone solos WOW!!
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast
Inca friggin Roads
Terry enters, chats with Dweeze and the audience, sings I'm So Cute. ("I'm so cute its RIDICULOUS!" he screams)
Tryin to Grow a Chin
Advance Romance
Punky's Whips Holy Damn!
Terry and Dweeze rap about Frank some more..
The Black Page
The Black Page #2 Enter Steve Vai
Peaches en Regalia
Montana (with sick, twisted dueling solos from DZ and SV)
Village of the Sun (Bravo Napoleon)
Encinada's Arf (of YOU)
Dweezil chats to us some more.. !
Zombie Woof (SV with face-melting solo)
Black Napkins (??)
The Torture Never Stops (with extended groove ending) Napoleon with maybe his best vocal performance, sits on a stool and sings it directly To us.

San Ber'dino was in there somewhere too! (near the end?)

Encore

Orange County/ Trouble Every Day
Everyone solos, including Terry again, and Steve, holy shit!
Tush Tush Tush...
And finally a number I didn't recognize, maybe it was new, it rocked, you'll just have to hear for yourselves.


They did NOT show the Roxy footage to begin the show, they merely stepped on stage at exactly 8pm and launched into 'Andy'.
There was no video playalong with Frank/ Chunga's Revenge.
There was no intermission, just 3 hours of wailing.


The crowd was slow to warm up, and that was a bummer, but every number still got a standing-O. We got it together about 1/3 through.
Napoleon is still a force of nature on stage, and hilarious. The man was ON last night. Terry and Steve, pros to the core.
Some songs were very close reproductions of Frank's recorded live performances, others were completely new renditions. Great mix of the two.
Overall the sound was a bit muddy for a while, then cleared up a bit but the guitar needed to be a bit more up front. Hard to complain though when you're sitting 15 ft. from Steve Vai with your brain melting.


I'll add more later. Might need help filling in some gaps in the set list. Unbelievable show, I'm still dumbfounded! I want to see it again tonight!

Thanks to the band, crew and venue! First class ass kicking time folks! Don't miss it...

:D :D


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 Post subject: oh YES
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:30 pm 
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oh yes, don't get me wrong----- I go to perhaps, one maybe two concerts a year anymore--

DZ kicked serious butt here, despite my nit picking criticism here-- hey, I'm a composer, musician and a teacher-- this is what I do hahah! , this concert was worth every penny or I wouldn't have even shown up-- extremely rare to see this level of musical endeavor -- I was IMPRESSED, absolutely.

Oh yes, Steve's Zombie Woof solo, that was the one where all the stops were pulled out-- fuck, amazing. But you can only do that once a night---

*******

DZ made a very very intelligent move here covering his dad's music-- I have hope for him now......on 2 accounts

1) He multiplied his potential audience perhaps ten fold- sold out show
2) He got a real EDUCATION preparing the show

I look forward to see what this youngster prepares for us in the future. Now he's on the right track.

Everyone worth their salt studies the masters that came before them.

You study the folks that came before you first, then you go your own way-
Frank did this, all the really great musicians do this- even if they don't read music.

McLaughlin, Zappa, Bjork, Page, Lennon, Hendrix-- its what you do one way or another. You go DEEP into the past first--- then emerge. It is not a casual trip.

I am 99% certain the last composition of the night was DZ's-- for me it was obvious because it was not the sophisticated melodic and harmonic and FORM of an experienced composer. It was kind-of an attempt to write an FZ type composition/arrangement-- but not quite there yet....

If it was once of FZ's lesser known pieces, I would say that even FZ didn't feel it good enough for public-- If it was DZ's, then he is just starting to get his serious composing toe wet, and I congratulate him for that... keep sharpening that pencil. :-)

www.neilslade.com
The Brain Adventure


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Amazing show! One of the best amongst the hundreds of concerts I've attended. Many thanks to Dweezil for bringing this life. So yeah he isn't Frank and lacks the some of the charm, but it obvious he loves Frank's music and wants to keep it alive, and he did it with zero ego. He has also gone to great lengths to master this music, and that is no easy feat; Dweezil's guitar skills were pretty astounding when you really consider everything.

An hour into the show I kept thinking that even if Bozzio and Vai don't come out I'd be 100% satisfied. I agree the show lost some momentum when Terry hit the stage, and I'm a drummer I came to see the guy! But when Steve came out --wow! The Zappa/Vai guitar trades in Montana were definately a high point in the show. But I can't say enough about the level of musicianship and energy that came off that stage. This is not a cheap knock off of Frank's legacy; it is a tribute at the highest level and every bit as inspired as the original.

I'm hoping this becomes a life long passion for Dweezil. There are a bunch of jazz shows that keep traditions of the great composers alive, like the Mingus Dynasty, and T.S. Monk keeping his old man's music out there for everyone to keep experiencing in a live setting with insane levels of musicianship and passion for the music. Frank's catalog is sooo deep, Dweezil could keep this show on the road for twenty years and not have to play the same show twice.

This was very likely the best show that will hit Denver this year; I still see a lot of shows, and this one really moved me. So with any luck let's hope Zappa Plays Zappa hits town once or twice a year. I'll be there every time! :P


Last edited by monkeyman on Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:01 pm 
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i thought i would offer some set list corrections....btw, the show was amazing, if you are wondering whether its worth the $$$....don't....beg-borrow-steal the coin to go...

Andy
Call Any Vegetable
Tell Me you Looooove Me (like I wancha to!)
Who Are the Brain Police? <?? (someone help, what was this?)>
Can't Afford no Shoes
Willie the Whimp (slow, short version of The PimP)
Pygmie Twylyte
Idiot Bastard Son
Cheapnis
I'm The Slime! Nice solos!
Pound For a Brown <Improvisational number based loosely on Montana breaks(??)/ Dweezil directs the band ala Frank/ everyone solos WOW!!>
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast
I would add Father Oblivion
Inca friggin Roads
Terry enters, chats with Dweeze and the audience, sings I'm So Cute. ("I'm so cute its RIDICULOUS!" he screams)
Tryin to Grow a Chin
Advance Romance
Punky's Whips Holy Damn!
Terry and Dweeze rap about Frank some more..
The Black Page
The Black Page #2 Enter Steve Vai
Peaches en Regalia
Montana (with sick, twisted dueling solos from DZ and SV)
Village of the Sun (Bravo Napoleon)
Encinada's Arf (of YOU)
Dweezil chats to us some more.. !
Zombie Woof (SV with face-melting solo)
Black Napkins (??)
The Torture Never Stops (with extended groove ending) Napoleon with maybe his best vocal performance, sits on a stool and sings it directly To us.

<San Ber'dino was in there somewhere too! (near the end?) > i yelled for it, but unfortunately it was not played

Encore

Orange County/ Trouble Every Day
Everyone solos, including Terry again, and Steve, holy shit!
Tush Tush Tush...
Regyptian Strut (a zappa tune, not a dweezil original) <And finally a number I didn't recognize, maybe it was new, it rocked, you'll just have to hear for yourselves. >


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 Post subject: Last Encore
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:11 pm 
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I think the very last song was Regyptian Strut, originally from Sleep Dirt but later released on the Läther and Strictly Genteel compilations.

It's a great composition: melodic horn lines, exacting marimba work and thundering floor tom/timpani beats, but it's hard to immitate that flatulant and whimsical trombone from the recorded piece.

Agree w/ the first poster that the volume could have been dialed back during many of the tunes--some stuff got lost in the mix.

My life is now complete: I've seen NMB sing Village of the Sun live.

all in all a fantastic show--my head's still spinning. Ready to hitchhike to KC to see tonight's gig.


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 Post subject: Ah yes, Sleep dirt
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:30 pm 
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ah, last number from

Sleep Dirt --

yes, that explains it

hahahaha


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:49 pm 
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Absolutely phenomenal performance last night in Denver. Probably one of the best live rock shows I have ever seen.

Highlights for me:

- Call Any Vegetable
- Advance Romance
- Montana
- Zomby Woof
- Village of the Sun
- Black Page #2
- Black Napkins

I didn't hear any San Ber'dino teases anywhere in there, but that would have sealed it for me...great tune. I'm still grinning from ear to ear. Long live Zappa's music!!!!

Too bad they don't record these shows and make them available online for purchase.


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 Post subject: All I can say is WOW!!!!!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:54 pm 
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I did get to see Frank twice. The Roxy & Elsewhere band at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, CA and the Joe's Garage band at Stanford University. For me, the more fun show was with Ruth and the gang!

I had already read some pretty positive comments about the ZPZ shows, but I was not really prepared for last nights rip roaring blast through FZ world!

I think it was actually the best show I've seen, and yes I'm old enough to have seen Duke Ellington as my 8th grade graduation present, so I've seen some pretty awesome musicians!

BUT: I didn't take my camera, so I hope there are some pictures floating around SOON!

I hope that Dweezil keeps it up!


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 Post subject: Wow!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:09 pm 
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Wow! nearly sums up the entire show for me - I was blown away by the sounds, the precision, the comedy, the showmanship - it was amazing. Well worth the $$ paid, and I will be racing to get tickets the next time they hit Denver!

I hope that people are not dismayed after reading the first review in this thread - Personally, I didn't go to the show expecting to see FZ, and so, I was not disappointed. (tip: when teaching, lead with praise, not criticism)

I expected to see DZ, NMB, SV, TB, and a whole slew of kickass fellow musicians, and I was not disappointed in the least!

I have been listening to FZ since I was 15, and I'm also a wanna-be percussionist. I have a lot of FZ music burned deep into my brain and I paid close attention to the technical details of what I heard last night. Let me tell you, it was brilliant and quite entertaining to say the least.

Kudos to Dweezil and friends! I hope for many years of ZPZ to come!


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 Post subject: Paramount Theater - Denver, Colorado 10/18/2006
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:20 am 
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Location: Boulder, CO
I am a jamband fan who has seen plenty of shows, but unfortunately I never got a chance to see Frank. I wanted to touch on a few topics regarding last night's "Zappa Plays Zappa" show in Denver...

I sat up in the right side of the balcony, row Q (third from the rear) in order to give you an idea how much location affects the show. Thats what I get for dragging my feet on tickets. Onward...

The cons: I thought the sound in the room was not unreasonably loud, but I agree it was muddy. The acoustics in that room are not too bad generally, so I would say the volume could go down slightly in exchange for some crispness returned to the high end. I also agree the guitar tones were a little tough to distinguish at many points.

There seemed to be a lighting issue when Terry came out, and a white spotlight directly behind his kit was shining up into the balcony for about two songs length. The entire right side of the balcony from about halfway back was literally blinded until we started a "Kill That Light" chant. Had to be done. I have NO idea why that light was put in such a bad spot.

I'm not going to bag on any specific musicians. I was a little disappointed that the marque names of Vai and Bozzio were not playing the entire show.

That being said...

The Pros: (many) I am surprised more folks have not mentioned the band members OTHER than the top-billed names:

Aaron Arntz - trumpet & keyboards
Scheila Gonzalez - saxophone, flute, keyboards & vocals
Pete Griffin - bass
Billy Hulting - marimba, mallets & percussions
Jamie Kime - guitar
Joe Travers - drums & vocals

You guys are unreal. Thank you so much. I can assure you that I will attended any project you are involved in outside this band. Unreal work. My hat is off to you!

Vai's guitar work was breathtaking at times, transcendent at others, down and dirty for much. I have seen him in a number of different manifestations and he never ceases to amaze me. The interplay between Vai and Dweezil seemed natural, not forced. Frantic at times. Gorgeous! That last guitar solo had me holding my head in my hands and giggling like a schoolgirl. And you can still rock leather pants and not look silly. You rip!

Whoever said Napoleon tied the show together could not have been more correct. You, sir, are a magnificent ball of talent and energy. His interactions with many of the players on stage was inspired, especially the interplay with Scheila (who I am now in love with).

Dweezil - I think your old man would have been proud Wednesday night. It seemed obvious to me that this show was an homage and not an imitation. Your gift coninues to evolve and grow. The new interpretations of FZ's work were an inspired blessing. You have a giant shadow to step out of, and in my opinion you have the pedigree to be a champion. I was absolutely elated to hear what you created last night. I truly hope you consider continuing this incarnation into the future.

You guys NEED to work with some of the online bands like Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule, and Sound Tribe Sector Nine to created a place for fans to pay to download soundboards of these shows in MP3 and FLAC formats after the shows. The jamband scene is lightyears ahead with this sort of thing. The technology is already in place - look into it. The fans need access to these shows!

To those with shows to come...get ready! You're gonna Freak Out!

Brother Monk


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