This was a very enjoyable show, and as a long-time Zappa fan, it was basically everything I had hoped for. Great long set spanning most of Zappa's career, exceptional musicians, and phenomenal performances. The long song towards the beginning of the night where Dweezil directed the group in finest Frank-style... every member got extended solo and jam time, the groove was really moving, and I was in heaven. I can't believe I don't remember the song, but this was the highlight of the evening for me. Absolutely amazing.
Also, Black Page was perfect
I sat in the "300" section, dead center, just behind/above FOH. Production quality overall was extremely high, every instrument was full, rich, and clear.
, however, have a few complaints. Primarily, I was bothered by the overall level of Dweezil's guitar. When he was just vamping in the background, he was still loud enough to drown out background vocals, and when he soloed you often lost entire parts of the band (and this was usually painfully loud.)
I understand (as a long-time engineer for a smaller venue) that when the guy's name is on the marquee, you keep him in the "front", but I grew tired of listening "through" the guitar to hear a sax solo.
I walked around the theater several times, including a trip to stand directly in front of FOH. The mix was extremely consistent, there really is no bad seat in the nokia theater (and I loved having the concert piped into the lobby and bathroom when I made the obligatory trip.) With this in mind, I must assume that Dweezil's level was a personal decision on the part of the FOH engineer (Glynn Wood), or he was given specific instruction.
The overall volume of the show was pretty high as well, and I spent parts of it with my earplugs in. I'm no stranger to loud shows (having worked many LOUD
acts) but I did not expect to use the plugs last night, and my ears were still ringing when I woke up this morning.
Lighting was overall very good, and did not distract from the performance, while highlighting the current singer/solo-er well. Like the audio, Dweezil stayed in a spotlight for 90% of the show, even when he wasn't playing and another member was singing, un-spotted (usually this was Scheila.)
Side note - Scheila was the biggest surprise of the evening. With her powerful voice, flawless playing, non-stop dancing and great backing commentary, I think she could have passed Frank's notorious tryouts with flying colors.
Again, this was almost everything I hoped for. (Mandatory $12 parking, with absolutely no free options? What the hell?) \
Thank you to everyone involved.