I wrote this last night, just now posting. Sorry for the inaccuracies in the set list.
I never really mourned Frank Zappaâ€™s passing, Happy at having seen several Zappa shows in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s back east, I accepted the loss the same way I accept the loss of other favorite artists that, while not technically, well, dead, certainly musically so (pick your favorite). I greeted news about the Zappa Plays Zappa tour with a bit of skepticism. I still have many megabytes of my IPOD devoted to my Zappa collection and am certainly still a huge fan, but you know, is this just wrong? Yet another Hell Freezes Over Tour designed to milk the concert-going public out of their ticket-buying dollar? After doing a little research on this very website, I decided ZPZ was worth a shot.
Far from disappointed, I was invigorated. Reawakened. My faith restored by the fact that thereâ€™s at least a building full of people in Denver that still appreciate a real concert with real music. Iâ€™m not embarrassed to say that a couple tunes (and one particular Steve Vai soloâ€”if you were there, you know the one) gave me goose bumps. The band was tight. The selection broad. The audience great. And you could get a Guinness for just a few bucks. Darn near the perfect evening. (And free parking to boot!)
I tried to keep track of the set list. The ones I didnâ€™t know, I made up names. But here goes. By the way, at the start, there was no Terry Bozzio and no Steve Vai. Not a problem. The band was phenomenal.
OK now here goes really.
Call Any Vegetable
Tell Me You Love Me
What Will You Do
Canâ€™t Afford No Shoes
Willie the Wimp
Iâ€™m the Slime
Yellow Snow to St. Alfonzo (skipping Nanook Rubs It)
Inca Roads (Did a Vehicle. . . .)
Then Terry Bozzio came out. I have to interject here. His kit (which is the most bizarre drum kit this musician has ever seen) was right there front and, well right of center, but he was no where to be seen. Originally bummed that he wasnâ€™t there, I was concerned the music would suffer. It didnâ€™t and by this point in the show, I figured maybe Terry had a rock star moment before the show and wouldnâ€™t be joining. Not a problem. The band and the show were already orders of magnitude more than I expected. The band was tight, Dweezil was laid back, they just played Inca Roads for Godâ€™s sake!
So they stop and Dweezil introduces Terry Bozzio. It was like stopping to put on a condom and realizing that you left them in your other pants so you go out to get them, but theyâ€™re in your gym bag which is out in the trunk, and you go out to the car, but, whoops, your keys are in your first pair of pants which youâ€™re no longer wearing so you. . . uh, where was I? Oh yeah, Terry Bozzio. Anyway, that stop sort of took the air out of the show for an instant. Iâ€™m guessing that the break was actually a welcome one, because now it was quiet enough for hundreds of us over 40 males to hear our protesting prostates and we all collectively retired to the rest rooms. Maybe that was part of the plan. Who knows? The point is, the moment sapped the energy out of the show. Will they be able to get the energy back? Not to worry, these guys are pros. So Terry came out and after some chit-chat with DZ, Terry did what Terry came to do.
Back to the set list.
Iâ€™m so cute
I wanna be dead.
Some song from Zoot Allures
Some other unknown song
Now at this point in the show Steve Vai came out and the reaction was kind of the opposite of the Bozzio effect. Bladders empty, the audience seemed ready for some guitar wizardry. Steve got a very rousing welcome. While Dweezil was comfortable and respectable in the zone he created for himself, I personally was lusting for some serious guitar wizardry. Steve Vai as we all know is a virtuoso in his own right, and was definitely up to the task. I think he played the remainder of the show, most of it using only his whammy bar and his scrunchy face (apologies to Firesign Theater).
But I digress. The set list, once again.
Peaches and Regalia
Montana (Dental Floss Tune) This finally shut the guy up behind me who was yelling â€œMontanaâ€