16 July 2008
Just a quick note to fill you in on our European adventure so far. We started off in Holland at the world famous North Sea Jazz festival. I ran into Ralph Armstrong. He used to play with Frank. He had some nice stories to share. That was fun.
We played our show with all rental equipment except for our guitars and horns. (It's way too expensive to bring our own gear for this short run of fly dates) Festivals routinely have no soundcheck so that adds to the challenge. It's the nature of the beast. We had a few technical issues at the North Sea gig - things like Ray's voice not being audible in anyone's in-ear monitor mix for the first couple of songs. It's a good thing Ray has such a natural gift to sing in tune otherwise it could have been a little "special" for the audience.
We had short time allotment. The set length was 75 minutes. It flew by. The crowd was very nice to us though.
The next day we flew to Milano, Italy. We played at a villa modeled after the Versailles Palace called Villa Arconati. It's a beautiful place. The stage was set up in a tent outside in the courtyard. It was a bit like playing inside a Zeppelin. There was about a 6 second decay for any noise that come off stage. Not exactly ideal for detailed music.
However, the Italian audience blew us away. They had a huge surge of energy during "Bamboozled By Love" and they kept it going throughout the rest of the night.
When we played "Peaches En Regalia" in the encore I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. The audience sang the melody so loud that at a certain point we broke it down to drums and bass so we could all hear the audience sing. I've never seen or heard anything like that. That's a tricky melody to sing - they nailed all the rhythms. It was amazing to witness that.
I had a really good time with that crowd. I'll be happy to go back to play for them anytime.
We're off to Madrid in the morning. It will be our first time playing in Spain. We were originally supposed to start the 06 tour in Spain. We never ended up going there. I'm looking forward to it now though. I'll let you know how it goes.
POSTED BY DWEEZIL ZAPPA AT 2008-07-16 10:53:33