After the relative disappointment of the APOSTROPHE(') show, also at the Bridgewater Hall, I went to the ROXY performance with a little trepidation, but deeply wanting to enjoy it. On the whole, I was not disappointed.
Taking ROXY out of the equation, the show was full of musical surprises: "The Gumbo Variations" rocked (or should that be jazzed?), "Flakes" was more amusing than I thought it could ever be, the appearance of "Teenage Prostitute" surprised, and "The Evil Prince" was a revelation (and just as powerful as the YCDTOSA reading).
As for ROXY, well: you know what you're getting, and ultimately there were no real surprises here (which is not say it was anything except very good), but I thoroughly enjoyed the audience participation segment of "Be-Bop Tango" (from the on-stage dance contest through to getting the massed ranks of the Bridgewater Hall dancing like deranged loons).
The musical highlight belongs to the beautiful "Watermelon In Easter Hay" - poignant and understated, emotional without the cloying sentimentality.
I still believe the venue is not best suited to rock performances - sometimes the hall just swallows clarity and spits it out in big ball of reverb, whereas an orchestra sounds perfect (as I witnessed when I saw the BBC Philharmonic playing Stravinsky et al back in February).
But on the whole, a superb night was had.
Thanks to the ZPZ band, and thanks also for the chance to be there at the soundcheck. If I meet Dweezil again, I will try to be less laconic and say a bit more than "Hey Dweezil" in hushed reverent tones.
EDIT/ADDITION: At the end of the show, Dweezil reminded us that he was not doing these shows out of nostalgia. Well, great music endures but it needs people to keep it alive (otherwise, to borrow from FZ, it just smells funny): Beethoven, Mozart, Stravinsky, and all the other astonishing composers you could name, remain popular because their greatness is recognised and because their music is played and kept alive long after they have passed. The music of FZ has the power to endure! Tell your friends, pass it on.