Zappa Plays Zappa Reviews

Now that ZPZ is finally on the road, I figured it would be interesting to open a thread where those of you who have attended any of the concerts could give your opinion, review, setlist, etc. This evening’s Copenhagen, next is Oslo, then Stockholm, Düsseldorf, Berlin, etc. I’m sure there’s KUR readers in each of those cities — so tell us how “your” gig turned out in the comments… Don’t forget to mention date and venue!

163 Responses to “Zappa Plays Zappa Reviews”

  1. Johan Forssell says:

    Yes, please comment! I’ll be attending the Stockholm show and I can barely stand the wait. Ohh, I’m looking forward to this soo much. I will post my impressions come saturday.

  2. Peter says:

    In one word GREAT!!
    Dweezle is not so funny as his dad, he gives it a try but I’ts not dad. The music was very good.
    The concert startet of with a peace of rare footage of a 1973 concert from dad, playing Montana. The last minutes the 2006 band listened and watcht the tape. At the end they joint the video and started the concert. The music is most Roxy & Elswhere and the Sjeik albums. With Terry B. on the drums singing I’m so cute and more…..
    Steve Vai was joining and was ausome as ever with great solos on the Sjeik numbers.
    On sofa Dweezel even had to cry because the emotions where to much for him.
    If you closed your eyes it was almost as Frank ws stil around.

  3. scott says:

    I have almost decided to see Zappa Plays Zappa in Philly. It’s an 8 hour train ride.
    I am pretty good a figuring out shit in
    strange cities, but it can be a big pain in the ass. If it was FRANK I would not think twice.
    I tried to talk a good friend into joining me,
    but he’s a puss.

  4. Wannabeard says:

    Yes it was realley awesome. I’ll take back my words, it wasn’t over-prized at all, especially if you compare it to so many other concerts.
    I’ll actually go as far as to say it has been among the best concerts I’ve ever seen.
    The band was great, Bozzio was great, Napoleon was great and Dweezil was great. And not to mention Steve Vai, gee, I didn’t know he could play like taht, yes I knew he was good, but yesterday at the concert was just fantastic!
    OK, here’s the Set list for those who want to read it:
    Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, Denmark 17th may 2006
    It’s pretty much the same as in Amsterdam, but here goes:
    Help, I’m a Rock
    Hungry Freaks, Daddy
    Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
    Florentine Pogen
    Pygmy Twylyte
    Idiot Bastard Son
    Cheepnis
    King Kong with Filthy Habits
    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    St-Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast
    Inca Roads
    -This first half was all with Napoleon.
    I’m so Cute (TB)
    Trying to grow a Chin (TB)
    City of Tiny Lights (TB+NMB)
    Punky’s Whips (TB)
    The Black Page pt. 1 (TB)
    The Black Page pt. 2 (TB+ SV)
    Peaches en Regalia (SV+NMB)
    Montana (SV+NMB)
    Village of the Sun (SV+NMB)
    Echidna’s Arf (of you) (SV+NMB)
    Zomby Woof (SV+NMB)
    Sofa (SV+NMB)
    Encore, which really wasn’t an encore because Dweezil said they’d be back…
    Camarillo Brillo (NMB)
    The Orange Couty Lumber Truck (NMB)
    Trouble Every Day (TB+SV+NMB)
    A Token of his Extreme (TB+SV+NMB)

  5. John Healy says:

    Can’t wait for the Philadelphia show now. I’m pleased that the reviews are good!

  6. Bert says:

    We (my brother, a friend and I) were in Amsterdam and we enjoid every second of it! These young bandmembers were amazing. I’m a musician myself so i quite understand how complex Frank’s music is so it must have been very hard for them to do this in 3 months. Chapeau!! I bow for them!!
    Greetings en for the people who can look forward to a coming concert of them: have fun, it’s been worth the waiting!
    Bert

  7. Wim says:

    I’ve been to the Amsterdam Concert. And as said before, it was fuckin great.
    Most astonishing was Napoleon Murphy Brock, singing, funny walking, dancing like in 1973. He must be 33 years older, but i didn´t notice.
    Bozzio is still a beast and Vai with short hair is astonishing.
    All the other young members were great musicians too. Surprise to me was Joe Travers, The Vaultmeister, on drums.
    Dweezil himself talked a lot and played less.
    In the announcements it was Dweezil and Ahmet, but where was Ahmet?

  8. Johnny Østenstad says:

    Hi!
    Finally Zappa plays Zappa came to Norway,
    and it was awesome!
    Fucking unbelivable….
    I was flabbergasted….
    Napoleon Murphy Brock was worth the ticketprice alone….
    And my hero Terry Bozzio was there too!!!!????
    AND Steve Vai!!!!
    Holy smuck,this was really worth the wait!
    Please God put this out on DVD!!

  9. DT says:

    I’m taking my wife to Las Vegas for her Birthday on June 20th, which she knows about. What she doesn’t know is we have tickets to Zappa plays Zappa that night at
    the House of Blues. Already in the Gold section and can’t wait.
    DT-
    Oregon

  10. Bengt says:

    I am glad ZPZ is living up to their own billing. Have seen Bogus Pomp, Ed Palermo, Project Object, Zappanale 16, and there is fierce competition out there. Napoleon – time musta stood still – brings so much joy to the music – as does Ike Willis – and lifts every act he performs with. Don’t fret that “youngsters” are playing – the Paul Green School of Rock has proven that teens can play it and will enjoy playing it. There is hope for the future… BT, have a ticket to spare in Philadelphia, hint, hint.
    I hear Olso was awesome – how was Stockholm?

  11. anders says:

    As the 19th was my birthday, I couldn’t imagine a better gift then going to the ZPZ-show… which is just what i did. Since i was 9 years old in 1988, this was my first chance to experience the music of FZ live in concert. And what a concert. Sitting there on the fourth row from the stage, I found myself with BIG smile on my face, laughing out loud at times… it was truly a surreal/great experience watching bozzio, vai and napoleon perform these songs that i’ve only heard on CDs and bootlegs before. If you have the chance to see any of these shows, you should. The only “bad” things would be that it might be considered sort of “Un-Zappa” to perform the very same set night after night. But, as my girlfriend said, it’s not the real thing, it’s a tribute to the real thing. Also, weren’t a few of the songs a bit slow (regarding the tempo)? Might just have been the way Travers was playing certain beats. When you’re used to the frenzy of Bozzio or Colaiuta, his more “laid-back” style seemed a bit strange (although by no means bad). All in all, a great birthday and a great concert. Let’s just hope it doesen’t take another 18 years for the music of FZ to be performed in Stockholm and Hovet. Also, i took quite a few pics that i’ve posted on flickr. You can find them at:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anderslarsson/tags/zappaplayszappastockholm/
    Hope you like them!
    Greetings from Uppsala, Sweden
    /Anders.

  12. TERRYG says:

    BEEN READING ABOUT ZPZ GOING TO THE MANCHESTER SHOW TOO EXCITED SEEN AND MET NAPOLEON AT ZAPPANALE NEVER MET ANYONE WHO GETS MORE EXCITED ABOUT ZAPPA AND ABOUT KIDS PLAYIN IT PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK,HE ONCE SAID AT A GRANDMOTHERS GIG WERE NOT HERE TO PLAY FRANKS MUSIC WERE HERE TO MAKE LOVE TO IT WHAT MORE CAN BE SAID!

  13. L.Lange says:

    I´ve seen the Düsseldorf Concert, Sunday 21th and it was great. The audience was very pleased with what was presented. The concert started at 8 pm with a 30 minute video an ended at midnight. Dweezel found him self very pleased and promised to come back to Dweezeldorf, soon. I did not expect that well played music, what a great surprise, Frank must have been in the the concert hall, he never left the building…

  14. Steve K says:

    I have tickets to see ZPZ at the Philly show and I am really looking forward to it. My 15 year-old-nephew is going and it will be his first concert. The set list I saw looked great. I’ll defintiely post a review though I am sure it will be a good one. It will also give me chance to wear my FZ t-shirt from The Ensemble Modern tour!!!

  15. Stein says:

    I was at the show in Oslo, and it was the best you could imagine, without the man himself present! (allthough he was allmost present, tuning his guitar on film … from Roxy 74). Dweezil was moved by the audience, and we got an extra encore: “Eat that question” with long solos from many of the musicians. 3,5 hours the show lasted! Very good indeed!
    A lot of songs from the aera I love. Mid 70.

  16. Dirk says:

    I attended the Düsseldorf concert: A very fiiine performance by some very fiiiine musicians and a very fiiine band leader… ;-)
    It was a great show, lasted almost four hours, perfect sound and perfect performances. Napoleon is really incredible. Everybody who says you can’t dance to Zappa’s music has never seen him… And it was a great experience to hear Terry play the music Zappa wrote for him. I listened to the life albums so many times before and it sounded very original the night before yesterday.
    Steve and Dweezil also did some exceptionally good solos together.

  17. Seattle Zappa fan... says:

    looks like two GREAT sets in Copenhagen! Is it true that the setlists aren’t changing much from night to night? If so, that;s too bad.
    Like many of you, this will be my first opportunity to see the music of Frank performed live (…well…, second, really… I saw Project/Object a few years ago with Don Preston and they BLEW ME AWAY! It was in a small room in Seattle with maybe 25 people in the audience – and Andre ROCKED!) So… I bought all my concert tickets and plane tickets for my west coast Zappa adventure: Vegas, Phoenix, Anaheim, L.A., San Francisco! As I said earlier, a little disappointing that the setlists aren’t changing much, but maybe they’ll vary more by the time they get to my shows. Either way, I’m super-excited to hear these guys play everything they played in Copenhagen… Black Page! Inca Roads! Florentine Pogen! Pygmy Twylyte! Punky’s Whips (you’re so DIRTY Terry B!) and all the others. Please continue to post setlists whether they vary much or not – I’ll be lurking here with great interest! Thank you!
    -Zappa fan in Seattle

  18. The Muffin Man says:

    Man i cant wait to see ZPZ its going to rock seeing it at the Royal Albert Hall. Im only 16 but for some reason Zappa is the only music that really gets me going, y’know? Fuck all this new indie/emo/shit, the youth of today have no musical taste. Hope to see some more KUR readers at RAH.

  19. Featfan says:

    ZPZ Hovet, Stockholm, 5/19 2006
    Figured I ought to write something about my biggest zappaistic experience since 1983. Attended the Hovet arena together with my old time pal Mike Friday night to see what ZPZ might deliver. We tried to go there as open minded as we could in a “let’s-see-what’s-gonna-happen-kind-of-attitude”.
    And we were surprised. Overwhelmed. Happy. Laughing. Impressed.
    Let me try to give you an overview.
    First thing that struck me, was that none of the players seemed to consider themselves as being the main attraction. Clearly the music was that, and what the band delivered was a a result of their collective contributions. (Made me glad!). There was also a mixture of joy to play, respect and (what I consider sometimes not discussed amongst zappa fans) the blues feel (beneath all those tricky melodic parts) was constantly there!!!
    First set started of a little uncertain, but after a short while they really showed us all what they could do. The second set was great. The encores as well.
    Joe Travers played the drums. Correctly, distinctively, persuasive and with humor. And the biggest portion of timing and feel I’ve heard – ever! Much impressive.
    Pete Griffin played his bass in a way that was most impressive. He played so great that sometimes you didn’t notice he was there (which I know is a crazy way to describe it, but most musicians’ll get it). A great job and a guy who clearly knew what roll he played in the event.
    Aaron Arntz on keys & trumpet. Well, most of the above about Pete G also goes for Aaron. What I remember most about him was that he seemed to have suck great fun during the entire show. He also played one great solo – effortlessly it seemed.
    Scheila Gonzales on horns, keys & vocals. As Frank once said: Tasteful, very tasteful.
    Billy Hulting on Melodic Percussion. Thought it was Underwood. In fact I’d preferred a solo from her rather than that delivered by mr Bozzio. (I guess I get my ass kicked for that, I’ll try to explain later, though.)
    Jamie Kime on Rhythm Guitar. Played vell. Doubled guitar solos very tastefully. Got the chops right, also very tastefully. Really knew what to do and when to do it.
    Napoleon Murphy Brock: vcl & woodvinds. Did good. Seemed genuinely happy that he got the opportunity to do this. Sang very well. Played gracefully when needed.
    Steve Vai. It was clear he didn’t rehearse with the band. Not that he fluked. Not in the least. He just didn’t really know what to do. So he invented that up as he went along. And he invented really smart. If there was a two-tone guitarpart played by Dweezil & Jamie, he thought about an 1/8, then played the third. If chops were to be played, he invented chords that went like a Japanese blade through the rest of the harmonics. Very nice. Solos were tasteful, smart, witty without being long boring walls of overtones. He didn’t steal the show away from the band, though he surely had the chance to, instead he played together with’em. He sure went up the ladder in appreciation by that.
    Dweezil. Well. It seemed like this being on tour playing his fathers tunes is a really emotional for him. That showed. Some reviewers have written that he isn’t that much of a center figure, and no he isn’t, but it seems like he’s very human, modest, and both sad (for the loss of his father) and happy (about playing his music and meeting the audience). I wouldn’t dream about writing sticky comments about what he said when he introduced the material. That’s not important. He seems like a good guy. And he puts the music in the center. And he plays really good. (Much better at this than some of his own stuff).
    Mr Bozzio. Well that was fun. He did some of the Sheik Yerbouti stuff and sang as well. Fun. Black page was great. But then… I don’t really know how to say this, but I’ll try. I admire his technical skills. Noone beats him at that. But when it comes to feeling his capability goes out the window. When Joe took over the drumsolo he really whipped Bozzio hard. The feeling (!) the timing (!)!!! OK, so know you know. I consider Travers to be a better drummer. At least in the collective band-format. Mr Bozzio had the bad luck to not have been soundchecked also, that made things for him even worse. We got the snaredrum in the FOH mix about five minutes after he started playing. And that wasn’t fair to him.
    Overall: great fun, many happy moments, a great band that worked together, a focus on the music rather that extreme solos, a lot of passion, humanity, respect and a slice of “what the fuck” on top.
    For all of your that have the chance to see the show. Do that. Don’t criticize the band for the obvious reasons that Frank might or might not have done things this way. That’s unfair. He isn’t a member of this band. He’s dead, remember. Give these guys the break they deserve.

  20. krisztina says:

    One of the best live shows i’ve ever seen!!!!
    SOOOOOO f’ckin GREAT!!
    (this was Budapest , May24 th)

  21. bleepyou says:

    My first Zappa show was at the Capital Theater NJ halloween 1972. I went with Don Daily and boobs banesta…Have seen about 30 shows thru the years. My last show was at the Tower in Philadelphia on Franks last tour. Thats where I’m going to see ZPZ. My seat is nearly identical. I will take my daughter and my grandson……Arf Arf

  22. Balint says:

    The way I see it, Barry… this REALLY was a dynamite show!
    (Zappa Played Zappa in Hungary)
    Yes, the rumors proved to be true: this was an amazing night, a night of MUSIC.
    Unfortunately the circumstances were not very good: it was raining all day, and since the show was to be held at an open venue… well, there were some questionmarks above our heads in those imaginary bubbles. But finally the gig was moved to the indoor part of the same place, so we did not have to stand out there in the rain.
    Another thing: the promotion of this show was also not the best: I only saw 4 or 5 posters in town, there was not too much advertisments in papers or radios, so I was afraid whether there will be enough people coming to see the concert. Frank Zappa himself had never toured here with his own band (not counting his short visit in ’91), so I think much bigger promotion would have been necessary.
    But the peolpe atteding the show might have been pleased, indeed. The start was a bit cold with Help I’m a Rock and Hungry Freaks Daddy (after the 25 minute of the Roxy DVD, of course), and the first real energy-bomb was Florentine Pogen. I have to repeat what others said million times: Napoleon is really great, funny – really good! Dweezil did a real heavy solo in there. And yes: the band was tight!
    One thing that still vibrates in me, is the heavy sound of the band. Really well-rehearsed, really together, very tasty. There were some really deep drum- and bass-sounds here and there, Joe Travers and that metalist bass-player guy was really good!
    Another highlight: The Black Page #1. Started by 3 drummers (!!!), doing really great job. Might be the best Black Page I’ve ever heard.
    Steve Vai was great – this was the first time I saw him live. Some great solos, and some impossible guitar parts, sometimes together with Dweezil.
    *
    One more questionmark: I mentioned that the hall was not full, there were some crowd but not that much as the show would deserve. Because of this or because of other reasons? I can’t tell. But here in Hungary the setlist was shorter for some reason: after Inca Roads (nice solo!) there came the break (no Imaginary Diseases), and as an encore they only played a really short Cosmik Debris. The audience just went crazy, we were so much overwhelmed with music, but they did not come back. No Camarillo Brillo, no Trouble Every Day, no drum solo from Terry Bozzio… Dweezil said it’s because „it’s the rule of the house, they don’t let us play more.” Well… who knows?
    Okay, I might be back later with further thoughts… Music is the Pest!! (as a friend of mine said – meaning Budapest, of course, hehe).

  23. Balint says:

    One more thing: I was there with a girl who was not really into Zappa, she didn’t know his works too much. While looking at her during the show, her face fell… “I need these songs!!!!” – she said after hearing the St. Alphonso block. And after the show it seemed she’ll need the whole setlist… :-)

  24. moses says:

    look at http://www.mosemoses.de and go on “news” there is a describtion how to find pix from düsseldorf. more to come. and…if you’re a zappafan, don’t miss it. we have to drive over 4 hours too to see the show….dont’t say you’re too old for it :-) you will live to regret it.

  25. fan forever and ever and ever.... says:

    Copenhagen performance was Great.
    All of these guys would have been allowed to play with “Dad Himself”.
    Fantastic to see that Napoleon is still alive and well.
    Close your eyes – and the Master himself is there.
    GO SEE THIS SHOW – you won’t regret.

  26. Maggi says:

    I was in Dweezildorf on Sunday, and i must say: “THE BEST (!!!!!!!!!!!) ZAPPA SHOW I`VE EVER SEEN”
    And defenly i can say this, because i work for Frank on the 88 Tour at the catering-crew and see all shows in Europe 1988!
    Thank You Dweezil,Gail and all the others!
    Come back,again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Lostepisode says:

    No recordings of these concerts seem to be posted ?

  28. Kate says:

    Hey Guys-
    Check out the new interview with Dweezil about the ZPZ tour on Gibson Guitar’s Web site:
    http://www.gibson.com/allaccessfeatures.aspx?aliaspath=/AllAccess/Zappa%20on%20Zappa
    Great interview about Frank

  29. gordana says:

    My report on Dweezildorf will be up soon on pianetapases.de/zpz

  30. Nico says:

    I’m going to see ZPZ tomorrow in Milan…can’t wait…when I bought the tikets I wasn’t really sure about it, but from what I hear in here, well, it seems to be real good.
    I’ll let you know :)

  31. Eugenio says:

    I’ll be in Milan tomorrow too, can’t wait for the concert… the tickets were a bit too expensive though

  32. Nico says:

    well…just got back from the concert, 4am here in Italy…took a while to drive back home from Milan to Verona.
    It’s been a grate concert, even if I’ve never had the chance to see Frank live in my life, I know his music pretty well, and I feel to say that they did a very good show. Obviously the technical level is far away from Frank’s bands, and they had to perform some songs in an easier way…btw, no matter what, Napoleon and Vai are just “amazing”.
    As someone already sad, they almost played the whole “Roxy and Elsewhere” plus other songs, like S.Alfonzo, the “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore vol.1″ version.
    Even if I felt like something was missing in there (Frank) I wanna say “thank you” do Dweezel, Napoleon, Vai, and all others who put this tour together; for a 23yo Italian guy like me, that was 10yo when FZ died, and had never had the opportunity to thank him for all the grate things he did, this concert has been almost a dream. Thank You.
    Nicolò

  33. Nico says:

    oh, btw, no Terry Bozzio in Milan…so wanted to see him.
    T_T

  34. Eugenio says:

    yes, the absence of Terry Bozzio really disappointed me… they even played less songs because of this… not fair.

  35. zappagenius says:

    terry bozzio wasn’t in zurich either. shorter set also due to zurich laws (curfew at 11 pm ??) that’s ridiculous … still two brilliant sets – my favourite was/is/will be “montana”. WOW – it rocked like hell. and the band (the ensemble) was the star. but still: dweezil loosen up a little bit. what about a secret word and audience participation ? that would be fun. fz was wrong: you CAN still do this on stage

  36. Balint says:

    See this on Terry Bozzio’s presence.

  37. DIMPO says:

    Hi!
    I saw the milan concert: great band, maybe they just missed a little bit of backing vocals presence, with frank everybody were singing. No bozzio on stage, a great vai, he was stunning, when I heard him last year at the G3 in milan he was not as good as he has been saturday. Napoleon, well, napoleon is amazing, without him, in my humble opinion, the band would not have sound zappa at all. dweezil is really good and if u close your eyes u might even feel a little magic in the air, maybe it was because i was emotionally moved… I mean frank zappa’s music live on stage in front of me… . Joe travers on drums was great,I can’t even describe the wall of sound he creates and I want to stress this fact: the band was great but u can’t compare, epecially when the concert is opened by the never on sale roxy video…!!!! To be totally honest I have to say that the venue wasn’t full at all, maybe the tickets were just a little bit too expensive or maybe, given the fact that the medium age was pretty high, all the happy families were at the sea, and last but not least they’ve played “only” 2 hours ’20 while I was expecting, after the reviews I’ve seen, a monumental 3 hrs concert. Anyway: w zappa or frank rules!ciao

  38. zappalives says:

    Saw the concert in Rome, Italy yesterday. Had been waiting a whole year since I first heard about it, and I can only say it was worth all the excitement. I have seen three live concerts of FZ in my life, all flabbergasting, and although I could not compare Frank’s solo construction with Dweezil’s (who would ?) the whole set was great. The band is extremely tight. The music is the greatest in the world. I have been collecting FZ’s videos and music for the last thirty years, since I was 14, and I was astonished to see the great filming of one of the roxy concerts with a version of Montana/Dupree’s paradise that I had never seen !! To start that was already a great boost. Plus to see Zappa looking so great and relaxed really brought a frog in my throat. Why the hell did he have to go so early. There is an EMNORMOUS need for more of this music. could we get him back and replace him with ……..(fill in with your teenage rocker of the moment) ??
    Anyway Terry Bozzio wasn’t there : bummer. This also means we lost 4 songs. Here is the listing for the ROme concert :
    FZ on video (Montana/Dupree’s paradise)
    Help, I’m a Rock
    Hungry Freaks, Daddy
    Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
    Florentine Pogen
    Pygmy Twylyte
    Idiot Bastard Son
    Cheepnis
    King Kong
    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    St-Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast
    Inca Roads
    The Black Page pt. 1
    Enter Steve Vai
    The Black Page pt. 2
    Peaches en Regalia
    Montana
    Village of the Sun
    Echidna’s Arf
    Zomby Woof
    Sofa
    A token of my extreme
    Steve throws out a few guitar picks
    Exit
    all in all a 2 hour gig starting at 21:30 after the video, and ending at 23:30.
    A lot of things have been said already about this set, all beautiful, and I agree with all of them. I found myself more than once with a happy grin, while listening to the most beautiful contemporary music being played by the best band you …ever heard since FZ left us !!!
    I really appreciated how Steve downplayed his strong scenic presence out of (at least I thought)
    respect for the venue. He could have completely offuscated Dweezil, and he didn’t. For me, that’s really a great attitude, good musicianship and plain camaraderie. The whole evening was overwhelming, and I will be bragging about it for ages…..
    On a very minor note, if I must list the negatives, there was a continuous feedback for part of the concert, to the extent that dweezil and the band commented on it – but what are you gonna do in the middle of a gig ? – and sometimes I found the music too loud to really appreciate some subtleties, but hey, who cares, I was flying !
    Don’t hesitate, GO GO GO , you’ll never regret it.
    Last thing. I brought my wife, my brother, and his wife with me, and all three usually run away when I put FZ on, but they wanted to see this thing I’d been nattering about for months. They all came out of there really enthusiastic about it, and wanting to hear more !! SO, bring your non-zappian friends with you, they may be surprised, and discover that THERE STILL IS REAL MUSIC OUT THERE !!!

  39. zappalives says:

    Sorry, I forgot “imaginary diseases” which they played in the second half of the set and a great “trouble every day” (how could I have forgotten that one ?) as an encore……I think this is all.

  40. Johnny Panic says:

    Just woke up after attending the concert at Brussels. It was great!!!! I’m still buzzing!!!!
    I too have been fortunate to see FZ three times live in Rotterdam. When the concert started with the film I felt very emotional. The band was good, but unfortunately the acoustics in the “Forrest National” is not great. But apart from that the concert was great. At times when I closed my eyes it was (for me) as if Frank was really there. I admire Dweezil and the rest of the band that they dared to undertake this series of concerts. I’m also happy to see so many young people turned up at the concert. For all who would still be doubting, go buy your tickets and go to the show, you won’t regret it.

  41. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    And now the points of the Belgian jury…
    The venue: Vorst Nationaal, May 30.
    As you may know, the sound of this concert hall is, shall we say, “less than optimal”, and quite possibly a bit of a nightmare for the soundguy. We had seats directly behind the mixing booth so what we heard was probably “as good as it gets”.
    The setlist: exactly the same as wannabeard posted above.
    The band: I was really impressed and pleasantly surprised. From the first note to the last, the playing was flawless and incredibly tight (and indeed, “heavy”, as Balint noted above). A definite strongholder within the band is Napoleon M Brock. He gave warmth to the songs and “a face” to the band. Had a bit of trouble getting the high tones at times, but considering he’s doing vocals originally done by the likes of FZ, George Duke and Andrew Belew: who can blame him!
    Dweezil: definitely has all the guitar chops, did some great FZ style solo’s and his overall guitarwork on the tunes was fabulous. Not so much a frontman though (this is not criticism mind you, it’s observation). Which leads me to the one small minor point of this tour: although the music and the performance is quite simply superb in every way, there’s an element of interaction missing (and I guess we all know what/who that element is…).
    Steve Vai: I’m not a big fan of his 200-notes-per-second playing style, but I must say he was a very competent side-man to Dweezil. Didn’t attempt to steal the show, a good complemental team-player so to speak.
    Ah, and Terry Bozzio! Did a fantastic drum-duet with Joe Travers (who himself amazed me with just how good his drumming was). Bozzio’s drum sounded a bit too bassy to me in comparison with Travers’, but hey, that’s just naggin’.
    Kudos to all the other players as well: impeccable timing, excellent musicianship — with extra points to the bass-player for ENTHOUSIASM!
    Favorites: the first half of the concert needed some warming up but things got hot as of Florentine Pogen. Punky’s Whips: how great to see this performed by the man himself (TB); ditto The Black Page (I, II): fabulous! Echidna’s Arf (Of You): it’s always been one of my favorite tracks, and the performance here was very, very tight.
    So there you have it. I’m very glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to see these guys. To the NaySayers I would say: reconsider. Give this band a chance. They more than deserve it. Music Is The Best!
    Now if you’ll excuse me: I’m very. Tired. Meeting up with some KUR readers before and after the show may have something to do with it… :)

  42. Peter says:

    Hello All,
    I was at this show yesterday but couldn’t get into it. A more positive review from another guy underneath to give you a neutral image.
    They first showed the Film of Zappa in the Roxy back in 1974. Great stuff and the sound was much better then the actual concert of ZPZ. The concert was in sound and in performance miles away from the Zappa movie we just saw. I know this concerthall has very bad soundings but I’ve seen many groups here who did a lot better. I’ve seen Frank playing in 1988 in the Veledrome in Gent in a concerthall he described as the worst ever played. But he also said that they would play at a quiet volume so that everything would be alright again, as it effectively was. I have the tape so I can even tell know that it sounded ok. Now in Vorst you couln’dt hear all the instruments very well, the bass sometimes was on mess of a sound, the keyboards were on and of, etc. When Terry began to sing, no voice. Was the soundman sleeping??
    Enough about the sound. The band wasn’t a band. They weren’t together. As stated below they had to warm up during the first set. But is was Terry who pulled the second set together with his heavy drumming (he lost two drumsticks in the act) and cheerfull singing.
    When he went away even Steve Vai (with short hair) couldn’t pulled the thing back together. It dropped again like pudding.
    Also Dweezil is no frontman, Ahmet can but he was nowhere to be seen (and he’s damn right not be part of this were only in it for the money tour – comment I heard on the spot). I’ve seen AZ/DZ and they were great, also they had Mike Kenaelly and Scott Tunis back then.
    Dweezil stood there, not moving a lot and saying little and the things he said were so rehearsed and cliche that it made me sick. During King Kong they did some improvisations like Zappa did in the movie (that’s what Dweezil said they were gonna do). This was not a spontanious thing. I’ve got many live recordings of Zappa. Now Dweezil must have acces to a lot more. He took some parts and put them together without shaking the coctail. During the keyboarsolo every band member stood playing looking at thsi guy without showing any enthousiasm. Only the bassplayer and Napoleon jumped to the music. I think Mike Kenaelly would have done a better job moulding the band together and leading them thru wild improvisations instead of showing all the tricks Zappa did in a row.
    Not that they are no good musiscians, they are, but they try to copy Zappas’ act, wich is foolisch to attempt. I’d rather have a personel stamp on the performance wich Dweezil said in interviews he would do. Seen nothing of that. Even the setlist is almost the same every night. Even the effects and the kind of gitaarsolo’s he plays are the same. Just seen the solo from Inca Roads on the net and live it was the same. Is he afraid or insicure?
    Anyway, I love Zappa, I love AZ/DZ, I Love the muffin man, The grandmothers, etc, But this was beyond my expectations. Finally we left after Montana. Yes indeed we left the concert.
    If the accoustics were better it would have been a lot more enjoyable. It could have inflicted the band’s performance. Also the hall was only half filled. They had to hang curtains around the higher levels (a full hall would also give better accoustics-I know). If ZPZ had only chosen the Ancienne Belgique. It would have been completely sold out but far more superior to this hall.
    See you,

  43. double phil bxl says:

    Phil says:
    conc. the guy’s hard-laboured piece above (and we all know we ain’t talkin’ about Peter himself here…):
    - if you go to a concert on a free ticket , enjoy the music & say cheese & thank you – it’s called basic manners, and we were all brought up that way in jolly old Belgium, remember?
    - don’t expect somebody (even a son of Zappa) to fulfill your every musical wet dream – Frank called his music the greatest OPTIONAL entertainment
    - conceptual continuity clue: anal retentiveness is not an imaginary disease – some of us have a life, you know
    - musical impressions: deft job by dweezil (pogen, inca roads,….) – anyone ever tried to add an new dimension on those classics? great synergy in the 2nd set – all involved brought up the best playing in eachother – good luck with that alone in a room…
    - to sum it all up: in 2006 one goes to a concert on an invite ticket, doesn’t like it & is as graceful as to suppose his/her opinion (remember clint eastwood’s adagio…) should be of interest to others – what’s the next step: a free live broadcast of every concert with interactive setlist via the zapper in your living room on webcam + free titties & beer?
    - for those who were there (4000 Belgians can’t be all wrong haha) – nice atmosphere in the end – ask the band themselves…
    tush tush tush
    Phil

  44. Peter says:

    Hello Phil,
    I must have been in the wrong mood then. Also I would have bought a ticket anyway as I did in november 2005 ’till my friend offered me one for free for the replaced show. Though this doesn’t make me a subjective whitness. I liked the Muffin man with Ike Willis more then ZPZ.
    See you next week,
    Peter

  45. Damo says:

    Hi Got tickets for the gig in Dublin on Sunday night, looks like I’m in for a helluva night out if the reviews are anything to go by. Will post my comments as soon as I come down!!!!!!

  46. lyn says:

    i didnt expect alot from zpz but loved it, also it was nice to see steve play (i just couldnt sit still on a chair) i loved the vibe specially near the end and its sweet to be the owner of dweezel’s signature (ja nerdy i know) on a side note, we didnt get tix, we arrived too late, but squeezed our way in trough v.i.p. im happy it worked and i really really enjoyed the concert even tho i missed first half hour;

  47. Matias says:

    I was yesterday in Brussels’ ZPZ concert… Let’s say I’m happy and quite satisfied, despite the Forest National awful sound.

  48. Jacretin Rotsten says:

    Have possessed the tix for both LA shows BEFORE any other US shows were added!
    Can this get any better? If ever this rotten little planet needed FZ and his objective observations it is now. Think of the lyrics for Dubya . . .
    HAIL ZAPPA
    HAIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA

  49. Stijn says:

    A fabulous concert, way beyond my expectations. I already got my ticket last summer but a few months after that, the concert was postponed to May 2006. It was worth the waiting, though. The band played awesomely tight and it really looked as if we had entered a time machine which sent us back 30 years (maybe that’s not for me to say since I’m only 23 years old, but I think I’ve seen and heard enough footage from the mid-70′s, which is my favorite Zappa period by the way, to compare; besides, they showed some of this footage before the concert, so there was an immediate chance to judge that).
    Dweezil was very reminiscent of his father, even looking a bit the same due to his hairdo and the way he stood there. I was also impressed that he managed to play the guitar parts that well, for the most songs they played weren’t exactly the easiest ones.
    Napoleon Murphy Brock has always been one of my favorite Zappa musicians and I was really glad to see that his enthusiasm hadn’t changed a bit. He did a very good job singing and playing and his age didn’t stop him from moving around all the time and hopping along the stage like a penguin.
    The part where Dweezil made hand signals to, as he said, ‘confuse the band’, wasn’t as spontaneous as Frank and his band used to do it but hey, I don’t expect every musician to be as fantastic as Ruth Underwood, George Duke or Nappy. And the band Dweezil and Ahmet (by the way, where was he? I thought they were both going to perform?) got together is probably the next best thing.
    Aaah, and then we had Terry Bozzio. What could you say about such a talent that hasn’t been said before? He still got the same raw energy as on the original versions of the songs he played, singing and drumming at the same time. Nice they played “Punky’s whips”: I still think it’s hilarious that this is about the only way this infamous lead guitar player called P. Meadows is going to be remembered for the rest of his life. I also was pleased that Terry got to do “The black page drum solo”, one of my favorites from the “Zappa in New York” album.
    Steve Vai’s guitar contributions were also swell and it was great to hear him perform some Zappa tunes I never heard him perform. The way he ‘duelled’ with Dweezil as Frank used to do with him was maybe a bit risky, but it all went OK and he fit in well with the band.
    Yes, I know, there wasn’t really the kind of interaction Frank used in his shows and yes, the satirious and humoristic part was rather missing. But isn’t the music itself really what it’s all about? The way FZ had people come on stage to join a dance contest or the way he let his musicians do sketches can’t be done the same way if he’s not going to be around anymore to ‘direct’ and create it. What remains is his music and I think this Zappa Plays Zappa tour emphasizes that perfectly. I already had seen a good concert from The Muffin Men a couple of years ago and I expected to see something similar, but Zappa Plays Zappa was more than just a cover band with guest performers. It was a worthy replacement, not bettering the original but certainly much as good. Finally there’s a tribute band that represents FZ’s work very accurately and can offer people like me, who have never seen Frank perform live, a true alternative. Thanks, guys! Hope to see you many times more.

  50. hvdk says:

    Hello there,
    So what, I sat there in this awful Forest National with my 21 year old son. I promised him in the early 90′s to take him to a FZ concert, as soon as possible. He was 10 then. Unfortunately Frank left that quick there was no time left to keep the promise. As a precussionist and drumplayer my son really digs FZ’s music and we spent hours, days and so on listening to the live recordings. And then, suddenly, ZPZ came in the news. I immediately bought the tickets for the Brussels show and my son flew in from Munich. What an amazing audience, a lot of fathers and sons and generally cool people. THe show did not fascinate us that much, I think that the poor sound quality really was one of the major reasons. Tears began to fall when I saw the inital FZ video. About the ZPZ band, well, Brock was fantastic, as I saw him last year with the grandmothers. Incredible artist who really pushes some kinda participation of the audience. The band plays as it fits, a kinda too reasonable, if u see what we mean. Well, a nic e evening of entertainement, the numer one entertainer was the one and only Terry Bozio. Entertainment is knowledge, but still music is the best. We missed some sort of ‘fighting and particpation spirit’, a spontaneous explosion and that’s it. Thanx nyway to all the musicians for this evening.

  51. bertanya says:

    I thought the video introduction was a good idea, with a pleasantly weak quality to the sound.
    Then soon after the the help i’m a rock prelude i found myself often distracted from enjoying the songs by the reverberations and unusual acoustics. Since i was a not far from where barry was sitting – hi barry, hi dr sharleena – and with no mention by barry of this, i wonder if there are not possibly various different sounds throughout the hall.
    For the second section, i think personal acoustic adjustments were in place to listen reasonably easily, and there was plenty there for to do so.
    Terry bozzio was the star of the show i thought, at least from my allocated seat.
    Also i thought there was an interesting contrast with the fluency that steve vai took over the guitar play offs.
    Well worth the effort, and would have loved to hear with good sound conditions.

  52. Adam says:

    I’m going to watch the Manchester concert tommorow night. It was my 20th Birthday present from just under a year ago. Flo and Eddie might be there as well.
    I’ so ‘cited.

  53. bertanya says:

    I’d like to update my review to say ‘with no mention by barry of anything quite like this’. I minor amendment, but his venue comments had covered ‘less than optimal’, a euphemism i evidently hadn’t thought through.

  54. Tommy says:

    I was at the Brussels show, great concert, good athmosphere. Frank Zappa is of course irreplaceable, but the band members were all great and focused on the music rather than spectacle. Dweezil did a fantastic job on playing these complex guitar solos, Napoleon Murphy Brock had the perfect vocals for this show, demonstrating passion and enthusiasm, Terry Bozio looked like an uncaged savage – this show was worth every eurocent ! Not to mention Steve Vai, his very competent, controlled self.
    As an aftertought, we really need again a musician like Frank Zappa, unconventional, eccentric and saying what others don’t dare to say. Any one of you feeling ready for the job ?

  55. Julian says:

    Saw FZ at Shepton Mallet in 1970, going to Albert Hall tomorrow – will let you know…

  56. bhuana says:

    just got home from Manchester (England). forgot a pen so here’s what i remember of the setlist (slight variation so worth a post i thought):
    FZ on video (Montana/Dupree’s paradise)
    Help, I’m a Rock
    Hungry Freaks, Daddy
    Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
    Florentine Pogen
    Pygmy Twylyte
    Idiot Bastard Son
    Cheepnis
    King Kong
    (Dweezil’s guitar loses signal – pause where it seems nothing can be done…
    Joe decides to run band through impromptu versions of)
    Filthy Habits
    Pound for a brown
    (Dweezil plugs into another amp)
    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    Father O’Blivion
    St-Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast
    Inca Roads
    (interlude)
    (Enter Steve Vai)
    The Black Page pt. 2
    Peaches en Regalia
    Sofa
    Chunga’s revenge (with FZ solo on video (circa 81, red jump suit) ZPZ band playing backing
    Montana
    Village of the Sun
    Echidna’s Arf
    Zomby Woof
    Trouble every day
    The Orange Country Lumber Truck
    A Token of his Extreme intro to…
    Cosmic debris
    (Exit)
    General impressions… great, i’ve read all of the reviews above and can relate to all of the positives especially with what Barry and Featfan have more eloquently said, and some of the negatives too but that didn’t stop it being a really great show. The sound was muddy and too heavy in bass at first. This actually improved considerably after Dweezil’s amp problems! I’m glad they carried on as we were all getting restless, had waited a long time and there were three guitarists! Seems the set was similar to mainland European dates but with no Terry Bozzio (must admit big disappointment about this – the FZ Chungas Revenge solo over the band was nice, a reminder but would’ve prefered Bozzio and more songs). Steve Vai was awesome – i like what he does and like some mad alien, he does it very well. Joe was surprisingly great on drums and general enthusiasm, Billy on percussion was excellent and precise, so glad they included a vibes player in the line up, especially for the era of tracks they played, and Sheila’s backing vocals again really added something. The Dweez knows his chops, and i like the arrangements where the guitar plays the intricate lines, star of the show was Napoleon though – worth the ticket price alone. Held the stage alone and dancing, moving around etc gave the show the warmth and humour that is integral part of this music we all so love. I saw Zappa in 88 – Ike Willis and Bobby Martin were awesome but NMB is something else.
    Best tunes for me were Inca Roads – Dweezil’s best solo & Napoleon’s great singing; Echidna’s Arf which the band ripped into and; Sofa, very neatly played with three guitar parts restraining themselves, Aaron on trumpet – really nice. Yeah, and Black Page was lovely and Peaches too…
    Get a ticket, travel far – worth the wait, worth the money. Like my mate said, we had smiles on our faces all night…

  57. Iohannes Soute (anag) says:

    Just got in from the ZPZ Royal Albert Hall gig. Overall, fantastic, though the opening FZ on video projection (approx 30 mins of Montana/Dupree’s paradise) became a little tedious, but the end segue with Frank (on video) and Dweezil (on stage) tuning their guitars in unison was a clever touch.
    No Terry Bozzio was a let down, but Napoleon Murphy Brock was the crux around which the evening turned – what a voice. It’s a pity that the ‘ZFT’ couldn’t have built a few more bridges in recent years and got one or two other ex-Mothers on stage. Still, Steve Vai made up for the lack of Mr Bozzio and he was simply stunning (he and Dweezil playing ‘Black Page #2′ was a real highlight). His presence really moved the show up a gear or three.
    We were also treated to a 38-years-after-Uncle-Meat reprise of ‘Louie Louie’ on the Royal Albert Hall organ, a great touch of conceptual continuity!
    I think we heard nearly all of the tracks from the ‘Roxy & Elsewhere’ album, with cracking versions of ‘Cheepnis’, ‘Village of the Sun’, and ‘Echidna’s Arf’… Other highlights included ‘King Kong’ (with Dweezil conducting with FZ-esque ‘hand signals’ to the band), ‘Trouble Every Day’, ‘Zomby Woof’, ‘Montana’, ‘Inca Roads’, ‘Florentine Pogen’ and ‘Sofa’. A great evebing’s entertainment – let’s hope it’s not the last time they do this. Was it worth £48 and a 7 month delay? Absolutely.

  58. David says:

    I saw the RAH gig last night too. I agree with Iohannes Soute that the intro video was too long. However the synch up later with Frank playing guitar on the big screen with the rest of the band playing live was really great. And the rest of the gig was fantastic – what a tight band! The major disappointment for me though was no Terry Bozzio – the guy is a legend and one of the main reasons for me going..whatever happened to him?

  59. Jonathan says:

    Missed my train for the first time in my life to stay to the end (Albert Hall 2nd) of a wonderful concert.
    Dweeze did great, his guitar work was a fascinating blend of father and son he has worked hard and sensitively to make this work- always with the pieces the main priority- fantastic tone on that SG and impressive part playing that dad would have given to someone else. I can see what people have said about his fronting this fine group vis a vis people shouting out for the old mans repartee etc but hey this is a different fellow who I thought had a laid back dignity.
    Stevie V was the demon prince as ever, I knew there was to be no Bozzio so not a big downer but what of Flo and Eddie?? again I didn’t really expect to see them but….
    The band were all superb- interesting audition process- the AH organ stuff was great how many other venues had this kinda thing? The sound comments above are about right its hard to get bass sweet in this type of hall but the sound was powerful and suited the excellent set. Ok they were a tad careful on one or two tempos but all the licks and textures were delivered, frisson moments a plenty. Great to see the moments of really moving reaction from the from the boring old limey audience.
    Napoleon was magic it must be something to get praise like in these posts I hope he knows it cos he deserves it- a rich talent of the kind all too rarely seen these days- like the sadly missed MC looking down from the dome(Sheds a tear) so important to keep the good music alive.

  60. smeeg says:

    Saw the Manchester show.. It was pure magic.
    If you get a chance check it out.. Napoleon is wonderful.. full of honest enthusiasm for the work, and bravo Dweezil.. You pulled it off!

  61. Dave says:

    RAH was really really good.
    Personally the intro wasn’t too long – i loved every second of frank and ruth and tom ripping it up.
    The band was awesome as a group. They gelled and seemed to be enjoying it, especially the bass player WHO WAS TOO LOW IN THE MIX.
    Sheila Gonzalez was awesome on sax – her solos were as good as napoleon’s. NMB was having a riot. he had so much fun but even so his voice was perfect.
    the absolute highlight for me (cant believe noone else has mentioned it) was that they finished off the first half with EAT THAT QUESTION, my favourite zappa song of all time. Don’t know whether they’ve done that anywhere else.
    Dweezil solos were dweezils solos. He overplayed. he’s not as good as his dad but since noone else in the world is, that’s not a big issue. Steve Vai blew him out of the water. absolutely incredible and i’m not much of a vai fan.
    Playing the organ was a great touch and made me glad i came to RAH instead of manchester.
    Overall, fantastic entertainment, a fitting tribute and well worth the money.

  62. tony says:

    I can’t really comment on the first set at the Albert (due to appalling sound way up there in the rear circle) – though Inca Roads was still incredible.
    In the intermission those lovely folks at the venue let me move to a box right next to the stage. I was hearing more from the stage monitor system than i was from front-of-house pa. (Mr Vai’s side monitors were aimed right at me).
    So, the 2nd set was simply astonishing.
    I think Dweezil is the highlight of this band – his guitar playing was absolutley lovely, just enough blues, just enough melody, just enough mangle it-strangle it; his onstage demeanour was much like that of fan. He wasn’t trying to be Frank, which was just perfect. Oh No/Son Of Orange County was really beautiful.
    Of course, the band were incredible and they can funk in 11/8 with the best of ‘em! Thankyou so much Dweezil, hope to see you again sometime.

  63. Alex says:

    I was at the RAH show last friday. Not too sure about the first track they played (especially now I’ve read that ‘Help I’m a Rock’ was played at some of the other shows). I enjoyed most of the songs, although I thought NMB sounded a little too professional on a couple of them (eg: ‘Hungry Freaks, Daddy’) and I got a little bored by the guitar solos. Sheila Gonzalez was outstanding, especially on King Kong/Eat That Question. I think Vai dropped her camera at the end of the show leading my friend to go: “putain! qu’est-ce qu’il est perche’ ce mec!”

  64. Gaz says:

    I really enjoyed the London show despite the sound being rubbish in the circle – guess the sound guys forgot to put any speakers up there. I thought the intro video went on a little too long, but Dweezil’s band more than made up for it – both sets were top notch FZ, with no real duff songs that I can remember. The Roxy orientated show just rocked with Napolean’s vocals. The only thing I would say is that if Dweezil does this again he should take on more of Frank’s signature solos.

  65. Dave (Liverpool) says:

    Saw the Manchester show. Fantastic, even in spite of the technical problems.
    Highlight among many was Echidna’s Arf. The man in the seat in front of me was moved to tears at the end of it, I nearly was myself.
    NMB was superb, and hats of to Dweezil as well. He’s a mean guitar player and all round good egg.

  66. fred says:

    Hey all! I was at the show in Paris yesterday, it was absolutely mindblowing!!! Bloody hell, these guys can play! :) Zappa’s music is not only alive, it’s really kickin’ butt! Dweezil has become my favourite guitar player! His playing has grown to be simply… amazing!
    Now about the show, it started at 8 PM, with the 30 minute Roxy movie bit (Montana/Dupree’s Paradise). The venue (Le Zenith) was packed, I would tell 99,9% of beeing sold-out. The crowd was very warm. The show began at 8:30, and that was really one of the best live performance I have ever been to! Inca Roads was really cool!
    They played until 10 PM, then we had a 20 minute break. Then, the band came back with Terry Bozzio for a furious version of “I’m so cute”, then “Punky’s Whips” where Bozzio had to change drum kits with Travers (Bozzio broke a skin on his kick drum during “I’m so cute”). The show went on, Dweezil said they had no curfew, probably because they don’t play today, next show is in Athens tomorrow. Well… they played until 11:55 PM!!! What a fantastic show! more than 3 hours of Zappa’s music! Vai joined the band on the second half of the show too, and was really great (I’m a fan of Vai, but I admit I never found him really exceptionnal when improvising on something else than his own music, but his played and soloing that night were perfect, absolutely amazing too). Highlights were King Kong, Chunga’s Revenge (very intense, I’m not spoiling for those who will attend the next shows)… They played The Black Page (Bozzio-only, then the #2 version), Peaches and Regalia,… and ended on Sofa, which was absolutely brillant. What can I say, one of the best live show ever, surely one of the best live act currently touring. Dweezil has become an amazing, really AMAZING guitar player! Everyone in the band was great, and had his share of improvising and spotlight. The only thing that I found missing was more interaction from Dweezil, he seemed kinda shy, and not enough interacting with the band other than musically of course, that part was really cool. A great band! Oh, one last thing about the audience, Dweezil noticed that from the first row too, very diverse… I’d say between 25 and 55, and some came with their whole familly, was very fun to see 10 year old kids with Zappa t-shirts. ;)
    What more can I say ? Brilliant! Hope there will be a dvd out of this tour! :)

  67. Parizen says:

    A MONSTER PARIS SHOW
    For anyone still wondering if they should get tickets or not…stop wondering!!! Last night’s Paris show was so monumental, so gigantic, so unfuckingbelievable, the 50 euro ticket was a steal!! The band played for 4+ hours. And not only did they play, they went ballistic. The set list was pretty much the same from Copenhagen, with slight variations here and there. Watermelon in Easter Hay, Hungry Freaks, Daddy, etc.
    First of all, hats off to Dweezil for doing this. What an homage and not only that, what a real thing. ‘Cause the Dweez is appropriating his father’s music. I think we could be moving past the “tribute band” thing. An orchestra playing a Beethoven symphony isn’t called a Beethoven tribute band… Frank’s compositions were meant to be performed, not only by him.
    Anyway, hats off to Dweezil’s band. They were royal. Great sax, keyboards, vibes, drums, bass. Couldn’t see everyone unfortunately from some badly placed speakers. And couldn’t hear much rhythm guitar.
    The show was just amazing. NMB is a dynamic vocalist, a fine dancer and provided the only bit of stage life. That was the one thing missing. Dweezil is obviously a humble guy. He thanked the Paris crowd no less than 100 times. In fact, that was about all he managed to say. Bozzio moves faster than Spiderman. He broke the bass drum head after He’s So Cute! Some stage acrobatics followed. And Steve Vai is beyond words.
    My only complaint is that there wasn’t someone (Ahmet maybe?) to liven up the stage with witticisms.
    GO OUT AND BUY YOUR TICKETS!!!

  68. ChrisfromParis says:

    Just a word to sum up the Paris show : WOW.
    Beginning around 8 PM, the show ended around midnight. In between : the 30-minute Roxy footage with Montana and Dupree’s Paradise, around 3 hours and 15 minutes or pure live enjoyment and a 15-minute break between the two sets. Imaginary Diseases was a tasty opener, with members of the band jumping all over the stage (especially Pete Griffin, this guy rocks). They did Eat That Question. They did Chunga’s Revenge with FZ’s video on the large screen. They did most of the “Roxy & Elsewhere” material… but sorry Fred, no Watermelon (see post above).
    I too expected more interaction between DZ and the other members (King Kong was an exception), and too bad there wasn’t some kind of audience participation (Dweezil said that if we knew the lyrics to Camarillo Brillo, we could sing along, but that wasn’t very easy :D) . But whatever, these are very minor issues. I had such a great time… and it seems I wasn’t alone. My hands still hurt from clapping so hard… The band deserved it. Boy they can play ! I already mentioned Pete Griffin but all the musicians are fabulous. When Aaron Arntz played the intro from “Eat That Question”, I was in another dimension. Scheila Gonzalez is fantastic, just like Billy Hulting, Joe Travers, Jamie Kime… and of course Dweeezil, who played some amazing solos. Not to mention NMB, who dances and sings and plays like it was 1974 again. Not to mention Steve Vai, who simply stunned me, and Little Terry Ted Bozzio, the kick drum destroyer :-)
    Wow, again.

  69. ChrisfromParis says:

    Little mistake in my post above : the previous poster who said Watermelon was played was not Fred, but Parizen. Can’t modify my first message…

  70. Kevin says:

    I saw the Royal Albert Hall gig and thought it utterly amazing. It was like a five-course meal in which every dish was your favourite and every single ingredient was done exactly the way you liked it, even though the waiter hadn’t asked you what you wanted, the chef’s record wasn’t hugely impressive and most of his staff were an unknown quantity.
    I’d forgotten that Bozzio was supposed to have been playing, so I didn’t notice his absence. The other guy was more than competent. However, I did recall that at one stage Flo and Eddie were booked to appear, and kept worrying that they’d suddenly turn up and spoil the party. But thankfully they stayed away. Sorry all (both?) you Flo and Eddie fans.
    I’ve been liucky enough to witness a few Zappa concerts, starting with the infamous one at The Rainbow at which the poor guy managed to get himself thrown from the stage, so I’m on fairly safe ground when I venture the opinion that the ZPZ concert was as good musically as many FZ gigs and, in the case of the Odeon Hammersmith in 1975, better.
    What’s more, the band seemed to be enjoying themselves and genuinely pleased with the enthusiasm their performance was greeted with. A few assholes at the back spent a lot of time shouting (in a non-ironic way) but even they couldn’t spoil a fabulous evening.
    I’m so jealous of all of you who have yet to see this tour.

  71. Magic Fingers says:

    Some reflections on ZPZ at the Royal Albert Hall, London, June 2 2006
    I had never been to the Royal Albert Hall before, but it seemed an
    appropriate venue for the evening’s entertainment bearing in mind the
    trials and tribulations it caused Frank all those years ago
    (something Dweezil would mention at the start of the show). It’s an
    impressive building, both inside and out, but I confess I went with
    more than a fair share of trepidation. Judgement reserved but
    expectations somewhat low, notwithstanding the many good reviews I
    had read about the European shows so far. I’m not sure I really
    understand the point of all this.
    I suppose the Albert Hall was about three quarters full – a fair
    sized crowd – by the time the video began. As you all know by now we
    were transported back to December ’73 and a performance of Montana
    and Dupree’s Paradise, and it was great to see. No doubts about
    that. But I’m afraid I couldn’t really bring myself to applaud the
    screen at the end as many did…….er Dweez, we’ve been promised the DVD
    of this for so long now, am I really supposed to hoot and cheer that
    you deign to allow me to see twenty five minutes of it?
    Ah well, on to the show proper. After the initial three songs I knew
    that Florentine Pogen would assault my eardrums, and THAT I had been
    looking forward to for a few days. And they did indeed play
    Florentine Pogen. But it didn’t assault anything. Come on guys,
    this is a HEAVY riff. Make my chest ache. Vibrate through me. No?
    Gee thanks. “You’re not impressed are you?” from the soon-to-be-
    missus to my right. And thus Pygmy Twylyte, The Idiot Bastard Son
    and Cheepnis passed me by in similar fashion. Napoleon was good to
    see again, and was clearly enjoying himself, and I have to say that
    Travers, lousy Vaultmeister though he may be, is a damned fine
    stickmeister. I tell you what Joe, you stay behind the kit and I’ll
    look after the Vault. Deal? Joe? Joe?
    And then. And then, for the second time in its history, the Royal
    Albert Hall reverberated to the strains of Louie Louie emanating from
    the largest pipe organ in the UK. Now even an old cynic like me had
    to smile at that, and good on you Dweez. A really nice doff of the
    hat to history and proof that Conceptual Continuity is alive and
    well. And a fine King Kong it turned out to be, with Dweez using
    hand signals a la Frank, and even the Filthy Habits riff making a
    welcome appearance to boot. Then, after various adventures in the
    frozen north, the first half finished with a really good Inca Roads
    and a surprise Eat That Question, and you can’t go wrong with those
    two tunes, now can you?
    With no Bozzio, part two began with Dweezil introducing Steve Vai and
    the two duetting in accomplished fashion on the Black Page. Peaches
    featured the pipe organ again and sounded just fine to me. Montana,
    ok, Village of the Sun, I love that tune, Echidna’s Arf, yep, good,
    and then Zomby Woof, during which I decided it was a good time to
    take a short break. I’m sure Steve Vai played a jolly fine solo,
    but, er, been there, seen that. Then the screen was again unfurled,
    Dweezil began the Chunga’s riff, and for five minutes Frank was there
    in his red boiler suit, head bobbing, fingers wrenching at his Les
    Paul, and we were back in the early 80s and life was fine because
    there would doubtless be a new FZ album soon and this time I do
    believe that I did applaud the screen. And maybe wiped a tear.
    The show, as you know, ended with Oh No, Orange County Lumber Truck,
    Trouble Every Day, all great songs to hear, A Token of His Extreme
    (or Tush Tush Tush if you prefer), and then, finally, everyone’s
    favourite waltz. The audience seemed happy enough, giving the band a
    rousing reception, and the band seemed happy enough, so that’s all
    right then. But there was something missing all night. Of course
    there was. I would have liked to have left feeling more positive
    about the whole thing than I did. It wasn’t that I was feeling
    particularly negative. I just didn’t feel anything very much, except
    maybe a little melancholy, and I wanted to feel something more. In
    general I didn’t experience the emotions that I have felt seeing
    Frank’s music played live on other occasions ( I well remember being
    in floods of tears a few years back hearing the Britten Sinfonia
    perform Uncle Meat, yet it was utterly joyous). I think maybe it was
    all a bit too close to home. For me, Chunga’s Revenge was the
    highlight of the evening, which is in itself ironic and yet not at
    all ironic, and of course I enjoyed some of the other songs because
    they are such great songs, and worth hearing whenever you can. The
    band was accomplished, as you would expect, and I’m pleased Dweezil
    enjoyed himself and clearly enjoyed playing his Dad’s music. He
    seems like a genuinely nice chap to me. And you know, you can
    sometimes see Frank in Dweezil on stage. At times, if you half
    closed your eyes, that posture, it could almost have been him. I
    couldn’t help but think as I headed for home that it had been
    eighteen years since I last saw Frank play live, and that I never
    ever would again.
    Am I glad that I went? On balance, yes, just. Did I get the point?
    Not really. Would I go again? I don’t think so.
    There’s just far too much missing.
    Magic Fingers

  72. Thomas says:

    i’m psyched for the philly show. travelling all the way from tennessee to get my first taste of live zappa!

  73. David says:

    Travelled to Manchester from Glasgow for the show and it was well worth it.Sound was not great at times due to loud/boomy floor tom but Joe Travers as previously with the Z BAND was excellent as was NMB bringing some humour to proceedings(it belongs).
    The part of the show when Dweezils rig went oink could have turned nasty(a Glasgow crowd/albert hall) but most folks went for a pee then Dweezil went straight thro his amp which meant no Ship Ahoy type activity as in clip but his solo on Inca Roads was fab as he was pissed off with the ineptitude of his andy warhol like roadie.
    Steve Vai is a monster,his solo in Zomby Woof was incredible ,he did kind of steal the show but two hours of his noodly twangfest would be overdose territory
    I was really looking forward to seeing Dweezil to see his more rock EVH style would cope with the structure/changes of FZ pieces.
    To some extent he pulled it off but I feel he is happier playing his own noodly twangfest stuff
    in saying that I hope he tours again and that there is a Glasgow show though I feel the barometer of the whole thing will be how well the gigs go in the states.

  74. bobule says:

    being to young to have ever seen frank play live this was the first time i got the chance to see any of his music played live.
    what can i say apart from the fact that it near enough made me cry. amazing performances all round, a wonderfull selection of songs (ok my life will not be complete until i see the Ensemble Modern play amnerika but that aside..) and a wonderfully entertaining collection of fine musicians..
    please please please do it all again..

  75. nedebois says:

    hi all
    Paris show june 5
    if you read all comments, you have read one or two review from this show, i just add my two cents & feelings (excuse the english, I’m french ;-)
    there was month we waited for it, and it was worth it.
    the film at the beggining made everybody wondering if that wasn’t “too much”, but finally not.
    so much peoples was wondering what would it be, it’d take the first part before everybody getting warmed and then Bozzio came, what’s a killer he still is !
    At the higher level in the venue, the sound was pretty good (ain’t that difficult to mix that kind of music ?) but the bass sound was to “round”, not enough kicking, perhaps too low end, i dont’ know but the bass player which was really good didn’t get what it deserves, too bad with the place of the bass in FZ music.
    Steve vai made good solos, but to my taste, not much “lyricall”, too fast and not enough musical, if you “ear” what I’m thinking.
    I found out Dweezil did the right things, not trying to be faster than Steve, and trying to find good melodies to work on, Hats on !
    Finally a very good concert, everybody I talked to was thinking the same, IT’S NOT FZ, but this is his music, and the band alltogether reach the required level. I’ve been impressed by Joe Travers I didn’t know, NMB was GREAT, etc etc really they was all great.
    A big challenge but Dweezil has succeed.
    that’s all folks !
    it gives me tear just to think about it.
    I would like one of this kind every single day
    come back Dweezil !

  76. dWb says:

    I’m going to see ZPZ in Philly. I got my tickets the 1st day they went on sale. Can’t wait.
    I saw FZ three time at the Tower (some of the best shows I ever saw) and once at the Rutgers Field House (horrible sound).

  77. keefer says:

    went to Dublin, Vicar Street. Truly awesome.
    Napoleon most have a mirror in the attic.
    Different set from above in general tho we started with a “new” number ‘imaginary diseases’
    A few o my top tunes were
    Zombie Woof
    Cheepnis
    Camarillo Brillo
    Peaches in Regalia
    Pygmy Twylyte
    & of course Sofa to finish
    Steve Vai was mesmerising, Dweezil amazing & brave.
    The only thing missing was the frank wit, which is irreplacable.
    Thank you Dweez & the boys

  78. Stevo says:

    Went to the Manchester show and agree with David’s review on 7th June. Napoleon was amazing and really added that special something that was needed and really connected with the audience. I’m not sure how old he is, but his energy, humour and vocal skill were fantastic.
    I agree that Vai was out of this world too, but ridiculously fast solos leave me a bit numb after the first 3 or so. At one point he and DZ were sharing a solo, taking it in turns to reply to the other’s music. After one mind blowing Vai section I really felt for DZ, wondering how anybody could possibly follow it- his response was slow, simple and melodic which was perfect.
    Fair play to the band for keeping things moving during Dweezil’s technical difficulties. This created a bit of spontaneity which I liked and DZ couldn’t have been more apologetic.
    The only down side for me was the fact that all of the Medium tour shirts and all of the programmes sold out as I was in the queue for the merchandise! Oh well, I guess they’ll be on eBay soon, will have to start saving!

  79. Stevo says:

    ps. Stuck some dodgy, shaky photos on my Flickr site, just search for Stevo3 or Zappa Plays Zappa and you should find them, got a couple more to put up but the site is down at the moment.

  80. Daeph says:

    I was at the Amsterdam show, their first stop in this tour. I think it was some amazing stuff going on on that stage. For me, being barely 27 years old, I never really got the chance to see the great maestro himself perform on stage. Therefore is was great seeing Dweezil (Ahmet was not around unfortunatly) and this incredible band play this magnificent music. The playlist was mostly 70′s rock-orientated stuff like songs from roxy & elsewhere, apostrophe, one size fits all and overnite sensation. Dweezil played extremely tight and Napoleon M. Brock still rocked the house with his onstage presence. Incredible, it seems like that man never got older, and he must be like in his sixties now? Great stuff. After the first half of the show they returned with Terry Bozzio and Steve Vai playing along some songs. It seemed to me Bozzio was not at his best, he wasn’t really flowing in a way I know he can, he was just pounding his kit really hard and didn’t seem to get into his ‘zone’. Though I always like to hear and see Steve Vai, he didn’t add that much extra. Also the fact Vai and Bozzio drew a lot of applause from the crowd, I felt like the essential from the show (Frank’s music) was a bit lost in all the showmanship. Even though there were some things not exactly to my liking, I thoroughly enjoyed this evening. I expected the greatest live musical experience I would ever see and that’s exactly what I got.

  81. James says:

    I was at the Albert Hall. I’m 45 and took my daughter-22 and son for his seventeenth birthday along with their cousin-18.
    I saw Frank probably a dozen times and he was never less than mesmerising-just occ for the wrong reasons. I adored his music, so it was a poignant trip for me and the nearest my kids would get to see him*.
    The film was great. Just great. Those who think it went on too long need to take time out and do a bit of reflecting. Ah Ruth and Chester and the Brockmeister-simple amplification, tricky tuning, those amazing guffaws-bloody mrvelous…
    The show built up well-tears in eyes at several moments-to hear St Alphonso’s pancake breakfast..waaaaaaaah. But of course Frank ain’t there. It’s ironic that the thing that sends this night into orbit-’Frank’ is also the slight niggle that adds drag to that orbit-Frank ain’t there.
    But as the evening goes on and a real cohesion between audience, band and FZ grows, I realised that this is all we have left and if none of the solos had that amazing savvy chutzpah of Frank’s musical sixth sense-you had to be there to feel the sense of rightness flow through you as his melodic lines lifted you richly towards and through any ceiling- I realised that they were carving out a memorial on stage for the guy-he is irreplacable and that presence/non-presence shone more and more brightly as the evening wore on, somewhere cigarette smoke shifted and an imperious hawk-nosed profile looked on, at the bogus pomp.
    Oh by the way my family wnet wild. My son was eyed up by Diva and i blew Mrs Z a kiss.
    Love to all. (Frank would hate that!)
    *The Muffin Men are FANTASTIC. They are not a tribute band, it’s like saying the Halle orchestra are a Beethoven tribute band. Go and see and support them they are bloody marvelous. Check out their website. Their CDs are great.

  82. smeeg says:

    If you love Zappa.. don’t miss this opportunity
    It is as good as it gets on this plane of existence.
    And they ROCK

  83. Andy says:

    Saw the band in Manchester on 1st June.
    Absolutely excellent & lots of respect to Dweezil for pulling this off. Frank’s music is tough stuff and for such a predominantly young band to knock out this kind of music was awesome.
    Napoleon Murphy Brock was undoubtedly the highlight of the show. He added an authenticity and nostalgia which it otherwise would have lacked reafirming why Frank chose him.
    Didnt miss Terry B as Joe was outstanding along with all the musicians. Vai of course is another level of guitar but DZ was equally great. I don’t think it could have been performed any better.
    The sound up at the front of the circle was crisp and loud. DZ’s equipment failure was a slight lull. He kept his cool and pulled it off even without his rig playing straight thru his amp for a few numbers.
    After the interval it just went from high to higher. The band playing with Franks video solo was a very nice touch.
    Loved every minute of it. Been playing Zappa more again ever since the gig. Hell even the guitar’s back out again. Inspiring…as music should be.

  84. Dominic Drury says:

    I attended the ZPZ gig at the royal albert hall in london and it was way beyond my expectations. Although i didn’t outwardly cry i had tears in my eyes a number of times.
    My message to Dweezil is “Please make a habit of doing this stuff on a regular basis, you have made a big fan of your dads very happy”.

  85. Olgit says:

    I travelled a long way (and paid a lot of money, to a guy named Hoover) – no, to be at the Albert Hall, and of course it was great. I loved the opening vid and thought it was such a great touch that the band came on and tuned to Frank.
    I saw Frank many times in London over the years and I was struggling to see through misty eyes at times.
    However – the sound was AWFUL, especially at first, and I had really good seats. Bass drum far too loud – as is often the case – inaudible bass until the second set – but everything covered in a layer of Mudd. Even the words were inaudible – although you could tell that they were being sung – and fortunately I knew most of them. It wasn’t just the Hall’s fault – or the sound guy’s – the band didn’t play with any light and shade! Frank used to be a master at this – ‘dynamics’ – take it right down – play really fucking loud – then just a little bit here and there. A song like – Village of the Sun should be played so you can hear the tone of Napoleon’s voice and appreciate the nuances – it sounded just like everything else! Don’t get me wrong – I loved the whole show and would recommend anyone to go – but as this is here, I think it’s worth saying………Also Dweezil seemed to be louder than Stevie Vai in all the ‘duets ‘ – that seems very straaaange’. It did get better as the night went on and of course there were some great moments…….
    And another thing – the material – okay we all love Roxy etc. buy what about anything post 76? (I read that they played City of Tiny Lights earlier in the tour – and I suppose without Bozzio (soooo disappointing!) we couldn’t hope for that – but nothing from Joe’s Garage or later – c’mon! If you’ve seen Bobby Martin or Bozzio or Ike Willis – you’ll know what I mean – we love NMB but where was the humour – it didn’t seem to belong!
    Music is the best!!!!!!

  86. Douche says:

    the philly one was so good. simply amazing. that’s all i can say.

  87. Brendan says:

    Hi All…We’re gearing up for the Boston show on 13 June…can’t wait to check it out and post a review….Any sign of Bobby Martin??

  88. GH says:

    The Philly ZPZ show was excellent and it was an eventful evening of entertainment!
    First off, while standing in line to enter Tower theater about 5 squad cars stopped, blocked and circled a man and his son in their car, one of the cops was pointing his pistil at the driver yelling “get your hands up where I can see them, where is your weapon” to which the man driving replied over and over “I didn’t do anything, I don’t have a weapon” things got a little tense since this was all happening about 25’ away from a long line of concert goers… In the end it turns out they caught the right guy a few blocks down the street, this poor guys son (who was about 10) was really freaking out… As you may have guessed, the Tower Theater isn’t exactly in the nicest part of town but it is a nice venue.
    So on to the show, I don’t think there is a bad seat in the house, the view was awesome and the band was exceptional. I am very proud of Dweezil, his playing has really improved over the years and he would have made his dad very proud! Napoleon was his usual entertaining self and it was great to hear the vocals on many of the songs sang by the same gut who sang them on the albums over the years.
    The first half of the evening music was performed by the base band, mostly younger musicians who are all very talented led by Dweezil, with Napoleon bringing up the right. Dweezil reminds me a lot of his dad, (I first saw FZ in 1977 in Chicago) the way he stands and the way he cocks his head when he plays, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree here… And his playing was terrific, Frank had a very unique sound, I’m proud to say that I was an FZ fan in the early 70’s (back when liking FZ wasn’t quite as cool) and Franks influence found it’s way onto my playing as well so when Dweezil was riffing away I could hear his dads style, those chicken pickin, rapid fire, legato runs up and down the neck that defines the signature Zappa sound.
    Slightly after mid show Terry Bozzio came on stage and put on one hell of percussive show, the guys really is amazing and he is so hyperkinetic, you think the guy might explode…
    Soon after Bozzio took the stage Mr. Stunt Guitar, Impossible Parts player and the man with super human fingers took the stage and proceeded to whip everyone’s ass! Steve Vai did an exceptional job on the Black Page and soon after the band kicked but on my favorite Zappa tune “Peaches in Regalia” It was awesome! And then they really hit it hard on “Echidnas Arf of You” the band was exceptional, there is no other way to put it.
    In all the band played for just over 3 hours, the only downside to the night was had to be the quality of the sound… Maybe they were having technical problems but my guess is that the front of house soundman was having an off night, the vocals were muddy (Bozzio’s vocals ripped your ears apart, I saw a lot of people plugging there ears when he hit the higher notes) and Dweezil’s guitar mix wasn’t dialed into until half way through the show, the bongos were way out of mix for a while as well. Then the first solo or two from Steve was poorly mixed, it was just a blur mid house and at times you couldn’t hear anything even though his fingers were moving, but the sound guy finally figured it out about 3/4ths of the way through the show and seemed to get in the pocket… I’ve heard this is a great sounding hall so this was a little disappointing, but none the less it was a great show… And I guess we have to cut him some slack, he tweaked the system when the house was empty so a full house did have a huge impact on his mix.
    If you are a Zappa fan I strongly suggest that you see this show, it’s as close as your ever going to get and you may never get this chance again!

  89. Steve K says:

    I also attended the philly show and on our way to find parking I noticed a little crowd next to a bus by the venue. It was none other than Mr. Vai with his guitar chatting with some folks. Very cool. The show was indeed great by the the sound was pretty poor. The bass was pretty low and almost inaudible. Some of the guitar parts were also difficult to hear. I was hoping to see the video of Frank during the Roxy and Elsewhere show but they didn’t open with that nor show it later. They opened with “Imaginary Diseases” and they did not play “Sofa No.2.” They did play “Eat That Question” but outside of that the previous posting of the set list is what they played. During the last tune (A Token of My Extreme instrumental) Dweezil pulled up a young kid by the name of Eric who was at his first concert and cued him to jump to help end the tune and the show! Very cool. They also included the Pink Panther theme during King Kong along with a little but of Filthy Habits. The back-up band consisted of the follow ing: one main keyboardist:another female keyboard/vocalist/horn player;bassist;drummer;back-guitarist;percussionist.Overall it was a great show and I’m glad I got to see some Zappa music played live by musicians who played with him.Those who are going to see this show I am sure you will dig it. Enjoy because who knows if we will get to see it again!

  90. mpc says:

    the show at the tower theater in philly last night was fantastic. standing ovations for almost every song, a very enthusiastic crowd. dweezil played very well, quite a different style than when he played the solo on “whipping post” with frank at the tower in 1988. napoleon murphy brock was rock solid as the main voice of the show, giving an anchor from which the other musicians could improv off of and return to. steve vai was, well steve vai, guitarist extraordinaire. terry bozzio really impressive with his “hands like a hammer”, he is truly one of the worlds best percussionists. i wish ike willis could’ve been included. the rest of this band of unknowns played very well, and held their own under combat conditions. i have to say it was the shortest intermission i’ve ever witnessed, and i’m sure more than a few people were still in line for beer or the bathroom when the second set began. i hope we don’t have to wait another 18 years for the music of frank zappa to be played in philadelphia.

  91. Fran-a-roe says:

    I went to the Tower show last night and it was easily one of the best shows i’ve ever seen!! Killer tight band and bringing Bozzio and Vai out just made for a perfect show. For a guy in his mid-50′s, TB can still flat out wail! I was most impressed with Dweezil. He really adapted his style of play to Frank’s quite well. Gone were the Eddie Van Halen runs of his 90′s work (thank God). The setlist was also a nice mix of prime Frank. My only complaint is the minimal use of TB and Vai. They were each only involved for about 30 minutes. The core band was tight and awesome so they weren’t needed but still would have been nice. I also liked how Dweezil included a little kid from the 2nd row named Eric who was at his first show. I’m sure he’ll never forget it! Great crowd and quality venue. Not quite sold out but close which was nice to see. I hope this does become an annual event as i will be there every time!

  92. Thomas says:

    I went to the Phily show last night and I was blown away by what I saw. I tried to take down the setlist but i missed a couple. Seeing Dweezil with everyone just having fun was really great to see. Unfortunately, after the show we had to drive back to Tennessee. The setlist was a bit different from ones i’ve seen on here.
    setlist: the first set was with NMB
    -Imaginary Diseases
    -Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
    -Florentien Pogen
    -Pygmy Twylyte
    -Idiot Bastard Son
    -Cheepnis
    -King Kong (amazing)
    -Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow/St. Alphonzo’s Pankake Breakfast
    -Inca Roads
    -I’m So Cute (w/ Bozzio)
    -Tryin’ To Grow a Chin (w/ Bozzio)
    -City of Tiny Lights (w/ Bozzio and Napoleon)
    -Punky’s Whips (w/ Bozzio)’
    -Black Page #1 w/ Bozzio and Joe Travers and the percussionist synchronized
    -Black Page #2 enter Steve Vai
    -Peaches en Regalia exit Terry Ted
    -Montana and an impressive guitar duel
    -Village of the Sun
    -Zomby Woof
    —–End of 2nd Set—–
    Encore:w/ Napoleon
    -Camarillo Brillo
    -Orange County Lumber Truck
    -Enter Vai and Bozzio
    -amazing duel w/ Vai and Dweezil, then Terry Bozzio solo, then Joe Travers solo
    -Token of My Extreme (instrumental)
    ——————The End————————
    Overall I was totally blown away by a stellar performance. As I’m young, this kind of thing is the closest I will ever get to seeing live Zappa. I’m glad Dweezil is doing this.

  93. Curtis says:

    Where to start for a review of the BEST show that I’ve seen in a number of years (and I’ve been to more than my share)? I guess the beginning is a good place to commence. The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA is located in the “forgotten” section of the town. Sprawling over three square miles, UD is another of the infinite number of suburban boroughs and townships that surround Philadelphia. The venue is situated in close proximity to a train station and in a largely urban setting. Hence, the further one moves to the west away from the theatre, the more affluent the geography appears. With that said, the Tower Theatre is a grand and stately music hall that the likes of which are, unfortunately, quickly disappearing from the American landscape.
    Seated seventh row left center, my wife and I relaxed for about 30 minutes until the band took the stage. Upon the first note, I was struck with the musicianship present and the coherence evident between the band members while executing such intricate compositions. I won’t go into details about each track BUT I will say that my excitement level rose with each subsequent song and that, even after three hours of aural bliss, I did not want the experience to end. The core band members were excellent, Terry Bozzio seemed to “attack” his kit rather than play it, and Steve Vai led us all down the path of 100-notes-a-second guitar virtuosity. Through it all, however, Dweezil remained firmly in control of all that was transpiring.
    Dweezil also definitely put those commentators from the European reviews that questioned his “personality” in their places by making this show “Eric’s night.” A young lad wearing a Black Page T-shirt and attending his first concert ever was invited on-stage to assist the band with a resounding stomp to end the festivities.
    Americans who have lined themselves up to witness this awesome display are in for a tremendous experience. I hope that Zappa enthusiasts, young and old, will join in and embrace ZPZ in their quest to keep Frank’s legacy and unparalled work LIVE.

  94. scott says:

    Unfortunately, I could not make it to Philly
    for the show. Based on the reviews, it must have been great.
    I am still waiting for the grumpy dirtbag buzzkills to step up and start in with…
    “Dweezil is a blah, blah, blah…”
    “The ZFT is really bad, blah, blah, blah.”
    Come on! Let’s get busy!

  95. bleepyou says:

    Ah Yes Frank will will always be missed and never be completely replaced (although I heard Franks voice thruout the show) but this was a great show just the same.
    My seat was just a few down from where I saw him in 88. Last row but in the Tower its still great. My daughter and grandson were blown away.
    My favorite, Zombie Woof was just great!
    Anyone who hasn’t seen Project Object yet should check them out. I know the ZFT isn’t a fan but I can tell you those guys are great and have been keeping Franks music alive for years. Nappi and Ike both tour with them regularly and other FZ Alumni join in on some of the tours. Anyone from Philly can see them a couple times a year at the World Cafe Live.
    FZ Music is the Best.
    bleepyou
    PS To Thomas, The second song was Hungry Freaks

  96. Rael says:

    What time does the band come on…want to go for drink but I am going to be pressed for time????

  97. John Healy says:

    The Tower Theater show was as good as everybody says. If the tour is headed your way it is definitely worth the ticket price which I thought was a little high before I saw the show.
    No matter what your feelings toward the ZFT you have to say that the Dweez can play a bit. The band from top to bottom was first class. Bozio and Via were in good form but Napoleon stole the show. I had forgotten how good he really is.
    The set was the perfect mix of fast and slow – older and newer for the lineup they had on stage.

  98. Douche says:

    “Anyone who hasn’t seen Project Object yet should check them out. I know the ZFT isn’t a fan but I can tell you those guys are great and have been keeping Franks music alive for years. Nappi and Ike both tour with them regularly and other FZ Alumni join in on some of the tours. Anyone from Philly can see them a couple times a year at the World Cafe Live.”
    I second this; Project Object is really really talented. I went to their recent World Cafe Live show (I was right under the guitarist on the right hand side). They have every bit of spirit that these performers have, and talent too. I actually thought that their Eat That Question” was far superior than the one that ZPZ put on (and some other songs in their set like “Uncle Remus” and “Twenty Small Cigars”). If only they had the money for Terry Bozzio and Vai… Oh, why can’t they all just get along?!

  99. Wilma Handu says:

    Wouldn’t it be cool if Moon Unit sang “Valley Girl” for one of the encores? Wouldn’t it be cool if they had Ike Willis sing “He’s So Gay” in San Francisco? Wouldn’t it be cool if Frank showed up and played “My Guitar wants to kill your Mamma?”

  100. howard says:

    Ner York – June 12
    I left the show with mixed feelings. Napolean was incredible. Every bit as entertaining as he was 30 years ago. His dancing and stage antics stole the show. You have to wonder why he never had a big solo career.
    The band was good. Unfortunately, the music was mixed very poorly. The bass was way too loud, causing echoes which blurred the overall presentation. The vocals were almost entirely drowned out. Napolean was barely audible and there was a harshness to the sound that made things unpleasant after a while. Frank would never have permitted a band to go on sounding like that.
    The biggest disappointment of the night was definitely Dweezil. Trying to stand in the shoes of one of the greatest showmen I’ve ever seen, he just couldn’t cut it. As a front man he looked timid and confused. He played too many solos and they were too long and not very interesting. Hearing Steve Vai in the second act really put his playing into perspective.
    He should remind himself that people are paying to hear his father’s music, not listen to him indulging himself in mediocre solos. He ought to understand that the wild applause at the beginnig of the night was for his father’s memory and not for him.
    I was really exited at the beginning of the night and the first set, which was mostly straight songs and few solos was really great. But after I don’t know how many long, dull solos by Dweezil the evening became kind of tiresome. . His audience participation bit showed that he has none of Frank’s charisma or stage presence. I would advise Dweezil to get out the way and let the music be the star.
    The highlight of my night was that I was sitting two row behind George Duke. I got a chance to talk to him at intermission and he’s a really nice guy.

  101. Mitch says:

    The NYC show on 6/12 at the Beacon Theater was one the best concerts I’ve ever been to. My seats were way in the back of the orchestra section and the sound was GREAT. I really don’t know what Howard above expected from this show but I thought Dweezil was beyond excellent. His solos were truly unblievable, and at time I thought the solos were better than Franks’s. The set list was the same as listed above for the show in Philly.
    It’s been 18 years since I last saw a FZ concert and I’d forgotten how incredible his music is live. If you’re a fan, this is a must see concert.
    Yeah, at times I missed Frank’s irreverent humor, but the show was about the music and the band came through. Frank would have been proud.

  102. Youngbraugh says:

    Philly – June 11
    I have to say, I’ve been a Zappa fan for as long as I can remember. One of the first albums I ever bought was Apostrophe. I only got the chance to see the master once. I was truly bummed when Frank passed, and thought I would never get the chance to see his music performed live again. Well I have to say that this show was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, and I see plenty. I’m always skeptical of “cover bands”, but I don’t think you can label this group one. A couple times during the show I closed my eyes and it truly had the feel of Frank being in the building. Napoleon was incredible, the perfect front man for this type of tribute. The special guests, Steve and Terry, were incredible. The setlist was perfect. The sound was perfect in the balcony, (I wish I had put out the extra money to be closer). The band was as tight as you could ever imagine, and these guy’s, (and gal, Sheila I love you), hardley seemed like they were into their 20′s. A trult inspiring night, I haven’t been able to listen to anything but Frank for 2 days now. I can only hope that this will continue and come back again, I will be there in a heartbeat. If you are a true Zappa fan, this concert is a MUST SEE. Dweezil has done a fine job putting this together. A great player in his own right.

  103. chanthing says:

    I too don’t know what expectations “howard” had, but I saw the Philly show and was blown away by Dweezil’s playing, and I would also take them over the solos Frank played on his last couple tours. I think it’s really cool how Dweezil has taken his dad’s style without just copying it. And I wonder if the way he cocked his head and stood is a conscious mimicing of his father or if he just got it genetically. At any rate, I thought he did a fine job, though he is not the showman Frank was.
    Steve Vai has chops out the wazoo, but bores me to death. Zip it up Steve and play some *music*.
    I’ll 99th the comment about how poor the sound was. I went with four non-fanatics and all of them complained about how you couldn’t hear the vocals. I guess that didn’t bother me so much since I know them all, but you couldn’t help notice how muddy everything was.
    Terry Bozzio is amazing.
    I really wanted to see the video and hear Sofa played. Maybe next time.

  104. Hipbone says:

    I think Howard (above) may have been at a different concert than the rest of New York last night. The show was completely stellar from beginning to end, and from my point of view, 99.5% of the crowd was completely impressed and ecstatic all night. I was in the balcony and the sound was great. Sorry Howard, if i saw you were bummed out all night i would have bought you a hot dog during intermission and told you it would all be ok in the morning.
    Here is some cool news that was announced at the concert: The ZPZ band is playing a gig on Halloween at the theater at MSG in NY! Very cool indeed. I asked if there was a DVD planned for the show, and the answer i got from the zappa camp is “it’s a huge expense” so get tickets if interested.
    Now, on to the review. The band came out after the Roxy movie played, and Dweezil mentioned how excited he was to be playing in New York, a classic town for Zappa. The crowd did go insane for quite a while (an odd occurance at a NY show) and the band just soaked it in. The house kept putting the lights on the audience so the band could see everyone standing and screaming.
    I thought Dweezil and co. played great. Much tighter than when i saw them at the jammy’s (1st show of tour). Steve and Terry were on fire as they played their parts and also improvised some lines and embellishments to songs like Black Page #2 and more trouble Every day (the closer with everyone onstage…this had a very fuck Bush vibe imho and the entire audience sang at the top of their lungs to the chorus)
    Napoleon was amazing all night and danced like a chicken. Steve’s highlight was a ripping solo in Zomby Woof that had almost everyone standing on their feet cheering. the vaultmeister Joe was pretty much on all night (I hear he has to sleep 14 hours a day on tour just to have the stamina to play this stuff night after night) and he held his own with Terry in the drum duel. The only thing that bugged me about terry was his mesh shirt. jeez, you should have left that in missing persons! Otherwise, he melted my face off all night with his super fast rolls and china crashes. Not bad for a 56 year old! Pete Griffin jumped up and down all night and had a blast since this was his hometown and he was ecstatic to be playing with some amazing musicians. Hey, the he used to play with Hanson! What a jump….Hanson to Zappa. Is that the biggest musical leap you can make? It’s like Menudo to Mahavishnu Orchestra!
    after the gig i went with Aaron (keys), Pete, and Diva Zappa to a honky tonk bar that had the world’s worst jukebox. Diva and i stood dumbfounded looking for something to put on. Alabama, Charlie Daniels, nah…..”how about chuck Berry?” asked Diva. Good call.
    Music nerd alert:
    George Duke and Stanley Clarke were in the house and backstage, but didn’t play. David Fricke from rolling stone was also in attendance and said he thought the show was awesome.
    I asked pete what the hardest part for him to learn and play, and he said the riff in st. alphonso’s…How did Joe and him play along to the video of frank playing chunga’s revenge? Joe went to the studio and listened back to the solo while playing a click along to it. Then, he has an in ear monitor that has the click track he recorded. Joe listens to lots of unreleased Vinnie Colaiuta era stuff in his ipod before playing each night. man, i could go on but instead I am going to send some questions to Pete to answer and I’ll print it here on Kill ugly radio. I’ll ask Pete to pass it on to some of the other members of the band so if anyone has questions you’d like me to ask him, and hopefully the band, feel free to send it my way with ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA QUESTIONS in the subject heading …
    gregaltman@hotmail.com

  105. Henry says:

    I haven’t seen FZ since 1980 in Tempe when he was in the round telling everyone that they were aholes. That was an amazing concert. This topped it. I have seen some great drumming over the years with Jeff Beck and King Crimson but not like last night in N.Y. I agree with one of the other reviewers who worried that Terry was going to explode; he was that on fire and focused. I felt privileged to get to see musicians at that level of ability. I sat in the upper balcony (muddy bass and mids) and the back of the orchestra (better sound) but still poor engineering. Such is life. My main gripe with seeing shows in N.Y. is always the same. Dopey people, who represent about a quarter of the audience, have no idea of how to behave. They actually have this idea that I came to hear them scream and sound like morons versus actually listen to the music. Another thing that I’ve noticed with N.Y. fans is that they can not handle quiet moments as they are usually met with whistles and yells. I waiting for the day when people are aloud to bring in jack-hammers. These shows often attract people who are in arrested development (I knew them well in high school). Sadly these guys haven’t grown up much and that’s a pity as the music suffers with their inevitable presence. Having finished with my venting, the show was one of the finest that I witnessed over the decades. Hat’s off to Dweezel. I can’t wait to see them again!

  106. Captain Jake says:

    June 15th @ The Meadowland – Michigan . I grew up near Frank in S. Calif , Claremont , Rancho Cucamonga area . His influence musically and culturally from day one to today is nothing short of a gift from God !!!!!
    Thanks Frankie for having a kid with the talent and vision to bring this project to reality . One of the FZ concerts I attended during the” Bongo Furry” tour with Captain Beefheart , at Bridges autitorium – Claremont Colleges , was without a doubt the best concerts ever !!!!
    Looking forward to the Michigan concert very much . Thanks everyone who gave reviews . I will leave my impressions of the preformance next week .
    Captain Jake is Alive & Well

  107. bleepyou says:

    Hipbone I have to agree with you on Howards coments. I had seen Frank over 20 times Since that Halloween in 73 in Jersey and the musicians on stage Sunday were every bit as talented.
    “Steve Vai has chops out the wazoo, but bores me to death. “”"”
    I must agree but only becase he somtimes played as Steve Vai not as Zappas guitarist and in Zombie Woof, my favorite, one heavy section is skipped when Steve goes off
    . He was great just the same if you get my drift. I mean if I want to hear the exact album versions ………..
    I have to wonder who else was contacted to join the tour?
    There is a DL of the Milan show on http://www.demonoid.com/files/
    Bozzio does not attend but it’s a hot show

  108. Miic El Life says:

    NYC. One of the most incredible musical experiences of my life. Truly blew my mind. The Beacon theatre has a sort of a Golden/Roman/God Apollo vibe to it, and meshed with the baroque style of modern-age Italian god Zappa into a truly spiritual experience. There were times when I knew I was experiencing a higher consciousness as I watched these people flawlessly execute Frank’s compositions. And the Triumverate of Dweezil, Bozio and Vai was awe-inspiring. I knew they were going to be great, but to actually hear these guys lay it down together…I have no words. I am Steve Vai’s bitch. That guy can do things that no living guitar player could imagine. Bozio flowed over his elaborate cymbal configuration like the wind…literally–a force of nature. And Dweezil and his crew were great, made me proud. I went in there knowing it wasn’t going to be Frank–Dweezil isn’t Frank, he’s the Dweez. But he killed it, and was playing parts on the guitar that obviously hadn’t originally been composed for the guitar by Frank, carrying the wieght of getting the songs RIGHT effortlessly. I think his job was much more difficult and sophisticated than he let on, and his soloing tones were very psychedelic and weighty. This is what music should be like–if you get a chance, run to the next concert and storm the doors, this should not be missed. Oh, and my vote for super group of the future is Dweezil, Vai, Bozzio, Chris Cornel, and Norwood from Fishbone on bass. Just think about it.

  109. Pipeleg says:

    Last night in NYC was absolutely one of the best shows I have been to in my life. I never considered myself pigeonholed on one particular type of music, so my shows, well over 100, have run the gamut. Never before have I witnessed musicians so happy to play and a crowd so happy to listen. Obviously, the true afficianados of Zappa will have their say about quality and sound and authenticity, but for the layman, the show rocked!!!
    Napoleon stole the show, Vai rocked, Bozzio smoked and the band was as tight and focused as can be. Dweezil just seemed thrilled to be able to be there and make his father’s music come to life again.

  110. cocheco man says:

    June 13, 2006
    The Orpheum Theater
    Boston, MA
    3 hours+ of truly remarkable playing. The best ensemble playing I have witnessed in many many years. The guitar dules between Vau and Dweezel were worht the price of the ticket. Napolean was a riot. If the show comes around again, I will bring my boys.
    Mark

  111. Zircon encrusted Dave says:

    The Boston show was one of the greatest shows I’ve seen…ever.
    Flashback…1970 something…who knows what year it was…after all, it was the seventies…
    Frank and the Mothers came to Boston/Hartford every year, I was there for every show…During last night’s show it really hit me that it is impossible, in my opinion of course, to find a band tight enough to pull off FZ&M’s lighting fast, melodically deep, truly complex “frankque” compositions. I have been involved in music for most of my 46 years, I take my hat off to all whom performed and those of us set the groove…we rocked it hard…sorry you missed it…see you in Montana..Me and the pygmy pony over by the dental floss bush…

  112. dizzo says:

    The Boston show at the Orpheum last night was fantastic. Someone please tell me the opening number, though. It was a later-era (late 70s – 80s) instrumental.
    Then Hungry Freaks, Daddy and another from the first or second album.
    Dweezil really had his chops up, much better than I’ve seen of him in concert footage. He then introduced Napi, who I believe to be the greatest front man in music history. Call me bias. He sings, plays sax, plays flute, and moves like a cross between James Brown and Beck (not Jeff, but with more fluid).
    They blasted through nearly all of the Roxy-era songs with thundering sound. The large band and echoic size of the Orpheum made for quite a sound. A lot of the finer notes were lost, but this place ain’t exactly the Sydney Opera House. It was also hotter than a damn blast oven up in the nosebleeds where I sat.
    I’ve seen Project/Object many times, with and without Napoleon, and ZPZ made for an interesting comparison. P/O is smaller, books smaller clubs, and draws a smaller, more dedicated (open for discussion) crowd. They also play with more heart. Maybe it’s just the smaller venue, but that’s what I always take away. Sometimes you need to see the sweat on their brows.
    An early highlight was King Kong. They started out in a reggae beat, then changed it up to a 7/4 kind of thing, then back and forth. Then Dweezil, upon prior coaching the audience, used all of us as instruments, section by section, varying in pitch and rhythm. I had a blast. So did he.
    After 6-7 songs, Dweezil brought out Terry Bozzio, and that’s when I checked out. Again, many people may disagree, but I have little tolerance for a 40 year old man in a fishnet shirt that he clearly bought from Right Said Fred’s garage sale. Plus he’s bombastic as hell. A lot of the crowd seemed to like him, though, so who am I to argue. I went and got a bottle of water and wring the sweat out of my shirt.
    Terry noodled around for a little while on Illinois Enema Bandit and Punky’s Whips. He’s a great drummer, but I kept wishing his mic could go dead. Eventually, Dweezil brought out Steve Vai and all the guys in the audience wearing G3 tour t-shirts and guitar pick-pendants messed their pants.
    The guy can play a guitar, there is no doubt. But what I found most satisfying was the repartee between he and Dweezil. Last footage I saw of them together, the dynamic called to mind a Little Leaguer trying to get a hit off of Roger Clemens. There was just no comparison.
    This time, as I said, Dweezil was right there with him. They have very different styles, but they really seemed to enjoy and respect each other.
    Rather than take a set break, the band was forced to rush through lest it violate the draconian Boston curfew laws. They played a few more fantastic numbers, including St. Alphonso’s Stunningly Complex Percussion Passages (‘least that’s what I call it).
    2 minute break, then a return for Cosmik Debris… big finale. Then some mutterings about curfew, a quick band huddle, and some more mutterings about “maybe we have time for a couple more.”
    Dweezil’s band (sans special guests) kicked out a great version of Eat that Question. Good god, that keyboard player is amazing. He must have been channeling George Duke for these shows.
    That should have been the closer, but they brought Vai and Bozzio back out for Trouble Every Day, complete with a momentum-killing 10 minute drum solo. Half the audience was enthralled. Half the audience had checked out. Then the band piled back on stage, and Vai and Dweezil performed the most hair-band guitar dueling of the night. Finale “Thank you and good night.” The lights came up and the audience rode a Slip and Slide of their own secretions right out the door.
    All in all, it was a great show. The band has an incredibly full sound, and they are very tight. However, if I had to choose, I’d go with Project/Object. It’s a slimmer outfit, but the ticket prices are more reasonable, and the venues are better. And of course, it’s the best music known to man: FZ’s.

  113. Hipbone says:

    “Someone please tell me the opening number, though. It was a later-era (late 70s – 80s) instrumental.”
    Hi Dizzo. The opener was called “Imaginary Diseases”, and it can be found on the album of the same name.

  114. Edshread says:

    Boston 06/13/06
    The show ok…Dweez is a good player, no doubt..the band was tight and over all fun..
    but for the love of fucking Christ H almighty would someone at the Orpheum PLEASE get some ventilation in that sweat house…i had sweat running down my arm and i wasn’t even moving.
    Personally, I would rather see project object over these guys any day. Ike and company have just as much going on and you get to see them in a club not a sweat box like that shit hole in Boston for half the cost and you’re surrounded by true FZ fans. And, you could minus the drunk 21 year old asshole in front of us who hadn’t a clue to anything FZ, but was dragged along by his buddies who were there to see Stevie and creamed his shorts when Stevie made his appearance..
    They also made a HUGE deal out of Vai and Bozzio grand entrance…Yawn…FZ would have LAUGHED at what they have become and were trying to be…shut up and play your guitar, Steve
    If you haven’t see ZPZ yet and you have a ticket…Go and have a good time but P/O is by far a superior act…don’t miss them if you’re into Frank. They play with their hearts unlike Vai and Bozzio who were only there because of their name recognition…I’m willing to bet FZ would much rather see them than ZPZ. sorry Steve, Robbie Seahag with P/O is a better player than you AND Dweez combined. Really Steve, save your monster power riffs for a White Snake reunion tour.
    Sorry Dweez…you’re name sake only carries you so far…get on your knees and beg Lisa Loeb to come back and stick to cooking shows with her..you two were a really cute couple

  115. Adam Roth says:

    It was awesome
    Well worth it the show was longer tha i imagined. The music was great. Steve Vai was insane. The black page was awesome. it was so great i cant describe it. It was the most physcadelic show ever. It had two encore but i missed the end of the secongd one cause i had finals the next day.

  116. Jeff says:

    I’m with Howard on the NYC show. The sound where I was sitting (1st row balcony) was muddy and Dweezil (while a great guitarist) lacks stage presence. I also think the band was missing the “eyebrows” in the music. Go back and listen to the ’88 band to see what I mean. For what it’s worth the second half sounded better to my ears than the first half.

  117. CARL GREENE says:

    Detroit June 15, 2006 Medowbrook
    Fantastically Awsome!
    Steve did a fantastic solo at the end.
    Sounds, crowds ,atmosphere and weather perfect.
    Best part was when The Dweez announced the last special guest, and FZ played the best solo on the video screen behind the band. I’ve never seen that before, live band with the video solo synced perfectly. Excellent Job!

  118. John Burnham says:

    Jaw dropping awesome, well rehearsed, barrage of
    intense melodic notes, coming from incredible musicians. Well worth the ticket price. Damn!

  119. John Burnham says:

    Ohhh Forgot to mention the venue, Detroit June 15, 2006 Meadowbrook music festival. With incredible weather!

  120. tomas says:

    toronto fucking kicked ass.
    napolean wasn’t there – ‘family emergency’ was the given reason.
    set list pretty much the same, but they didn’t do an encore citing that they had time constraints and had to leave early; which really fucking sucked. otherwise it was amazing.

  121. Tupak Sade says:

    First of all, I had one of the worst weeks imaginable – family crisis – so I actually forgot all about the show until my wife reminded me last night. I didn’t really feel like going (wish it was next week) but it proved to be a nice temporary escape.
    They started off showing a section from the unreleased DVD circa the “Roxy And Elsewhere” period. I think that the clip should’ve been quite a bit shorter, but I think they anticipated that this crowd would be made up of people who were used to attending rock concerts – sure enough, there were people still arriving about five songs into the actual show!
    The main difference between the Toronto show and all the other shows is that Napoleon Murphy Brock also had a family crisis and couldn’t make the show. Dweezil told the audience that we “weren’t missing out”, because, as a matter of fact, we would be seeing a different show than anywhere else on the tour. Since Napoleon Murphy Brock couldn’t show, Dweezil said they were going to do what they’ve only done in rehearsals, and that is to let Sheila Gonzalez take over all of NMB’s parts. She played sax (albeit alto to NMB’s tenor), sang NMB’s lead vocals, and even played NMB’s flute parts. She didn’t have NMB’s charisma, but imagine the pressure of stepping in to such huge vacant shoes! She deserves a lot of credit. Dweezil created some hand signals for audience participation, and we were given a taste of the hand signals that FZ used to use in his conducting. I must admit that for the first little while it seemed as if I was watching a very talented cover band, despite the biological connection of the guitarist to the composer. I’m sure it would’ve been a completely different show if Napoleon Murphy Brock had taken part. The Hummingbird Center was offering refunds for anyone who wanted one, due to NMB’s absence, but I didn’t see anyone taking advantage of the offer. I slowly got into the show, due largely in part to Joe Travers. I have to give him huge credit – playing extremely complicated pieces, and SINGING LEAD VOCALS at the same time. He had his imitation of FZ’s voice down pat. The mix was appalling in that you couldn’t hear a damn word of Dweezil’s in-between-songs patter, and worse,the singing-during-the-songs was mixed low and was muffled.
    Travers is a very talented musician. I saw him play on tv once with “Z” (Ahmet & Dweezil’s band) but it was great to watch a virtually-new-drummer-to-me interpret the Zappa material that I know so well. His solo with Bozzio was pedestrian, but he could’ve just been laying back as homage to someone who’s probably an idol to him.
    Bozzio was Bozzio – I knew what to expect, and I got it. I love watching him play, and he always makes me want to go home and practice. I know his website seems a tad pretentious and contrived, but I’ve met him a couple of times, and he’s always been a really great guy to this virtual nobody.
    Oh yeah, there was a percussionist, too. Mean conga player, but no Ed Mann / Ruth Underwood when it came to the mallet playing.
    For anyone who cares, the setlist included the following:
    StinkFoot
    Inca Roads
    Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow
    St. Alphonzo’s Pancake Breakfast
    I’m So Cute (TB)
    Pound For Brown (TB)
    Tryin’ To Grow A Chin (TB)
    Punky’s Whips (TB)
    Black Page No. 1 (TB)
    Black Page No. 2 (TB. Steve Vai)
    Peaches En Regalia
    Village Of The Sun
    Montana (Steve Vai)
    Trouble Every Day (TB, Steve Vai)

  122. PJBubbles says:

    I expected a good tribute concert of Zappa music, and left after seeing one of the best shows of my 53 years! Wherever Frank is, he’s got to be proud of what his son has accomplished, putting together an amazing band that would not have been out of place touring with Zappa himself. Having never seen Napoleon live, it was not as much as disappointment as it might have been for others, but the Roxy era tunes were pulled off with style and precision. Bozzio and Vai were brilliant, and the guitar battles between Steve and Dweezil were sonic orgasms! I have never smiled as much through a concert as I did last night..well done, Dweezil!

  123. Captain Jake says:

    Meadowlands – Michigan , June 15th : I think the band was blown away by the standing ovaitions , love and respect recieved from the near sold out auidence !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You could feel the strong presence of non ordinary reality from start to finish of the concert . I cried like a baby at times . Frank , we miss you so much . Thank God this band is capable of capturing the essence of Zappa and delivering !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. HairFarmer says:

    I was lucky enough to attend the Detroit (Meadowlands) show Thursday. It was as excellent as has been stated. The whole band was very impressive and seemed to really be enjoying themselves. Shelia has some moves! She’s almost giving Nap a run for his money. Was it just my imagination? No one else has mentioned Dweezil say how they were looking forward to doing it again. I’m sure I heard that. Forgive me if this has been mentioned before, I didn’t check through all the reviews, they’re stacking up! My only question is who is “we” he could mean another ZpZ tour or a tour of his own for the new album . . .

  125. fazbul says:

    June 18th
    I was lucky enough to see Frank a few times on Mother’s Day in Chicago, Last night( Father’s Day) I was also lucky to see a great show with Dweezil and friends doing a moving tribute to Frank. Thank You for a fantastic and moving exrerience. Hope to see you again next Father’s Day……….

  126. Peter Franklin says:

    At the Toronto Show Friday, tried to keep my expectaions low as I’d seen Frank in ’77 at the Gardens and knew no matter how hard they tried he wasn’t going to show up. Have to say it was good but not great, I never got that chill up the spine feeling. Naploleon not present made it tough for them and we got a shorter show as they had to avoid a lot of the vocal tunes and go long on instrumentals, no Chunga’s, no Cosmic, no Florentine. They were extremly tight and technically brilliant, but, except for Shelia (who can shake it and sang well in NMB’s place on Inca Raods), Joe and to a lesser extent Dweezil, missing some passion. Vai’s lightning hand bored me and I have to a gree with an earlier comment that T.B’s net shirt is goofy. I don’t need to see his 56 year old boobs bouncing up and down in time to his frantic beat. They need to develop some theme or skit, some more of Frank’s playmaking set to music with some good old fashion spoofing and sillyness. It was a jazz heavy show. More straight ahead rock\blues like Andy, Muffin Man and Sexual Harassment would have helped.

  127. Daniel f. Bradley says:

    i had low expectations going to the show (but i still really wanted hear some of the music live) so off i went, i’m not a big rock and roll lover, i got into zappa through his instrumental music. over all i really enjoy the show, high points were Inca Roads, Pound for a Brown, and the Black Page (s). Vai wanked too much all over Montana for my liking . but i enjoy the show and thought it was very tasteful given all the extreme tastes of aappa fans that were there. i came out smiling and humming

  128. Daniel f. Bradley says:

    sorry – i was at the toronto show on the 16

  129. Matt says:

    Tupak Sade gives a great account of the Toronto show.
    I never saw Frank live in concert, so this was going to be the closest I ever got to the experience. I thought it was the best live show I’ve ever been to – and that’s despite the fact that they had to skip a few songs to finish before 11:00 (I’m not sure why they had to do that, but Dweezil and co. sure didn’t seem to want to). The band was incredibly tight, and Dweezil was a gracious and entertaining host.
    At the end Dweezil re-introduced the band, and said “and we’ve been playing my dad’s music” – it brought a tear to many an eye.

  130. Chuk Roast says:

    I am writing this a few days after the fact . I did not take notes.I was at the Toronto show about 40 rows back. I had seen FZ on three occasions ,once where actually singled me out of the crowd.
    I was dissappointed hearing Napoloeon Murphy Brock was not going to be there however not enought to get a refund. This, then, is my take..
    The movie was way too long and not a steller performance either. Perhaps the reason they used it to include Napoleon. The band opened with an overture I did not recognise.Dweezil said the show would be uniquedue to the lack of Napoleon Murphy Brock.The first song was King Kong with a reggae beat. Very Scary. Dweezil did the (FZ patented) handsignal audience participation thing with would have been good if it blended with the music. It didn’t. Inca Roads was very good. The band are all great players especially the guy on xylophone and the woman on sax/keyboards voice;she subbed for Napoleon a few times quite nicely too. Terry Bozio came on after intermission and I could have done without him . My drummer friends enjoyed him though. Steve Vai came out later and did some dueling guitar stuff with Dweezil. Big mistake.Or they should re-tool the segment so the difference between the two is not so glaring. Dweezil is a good player (and I was enjoying it until then)but not in Steves league. Steve sang Montana(nicely) . No encore. The crowd was sold from the word go. Hearty applause throughout the show.
    My conclusion. Nice idea,glad I went,but once is enough..

  131. Novak says:

    Saw the show at the Chicago Auditorium. Hard to compare this show to shows I’ve seen there when Frank was with us, but I have to think that he would think that they done him proud. Contrary to a few posts, I thought the 2 guitar duels with Steve and Dweezil were fantastic. Bozzio’s drumming is about as good as it gets. Sounds like the crowds around the world were unanimously enthusiastic. Just about every song in Chicago got a standing ovation and it was good to go back to a concert at the Auditorium where I grew up seeing acts like Crimson, Hawkwind, Ponty, Zappa and many others play.

  132. rick says:

    June 20th, 2006
    Saw the ZPZ show here at the House of Blues in Vegas. They blew the doors off of the place. I didnt know Dweezil could hold his own with the great Steve Vai. That guy is unbelievable. Terry Bozio is the best and he showed it again. I would recommend this show to any fan of Zappa or anybody interested in seeing a tight band perform.

  133. James Markham says:

    Hi. Can anyone tell me the set list from Meadow Brook?
    I know they did:
    Montana
    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
    Idiot Bastard Son
    Trouble Everyday
    Peachs en Regalis
    Please help me with the rest.
    Those arn’t in order by the way.
    Thanks

  134. Fruno says:

    Just caught ZPZ in Phoenix last night; first show with Zappa DNA in over 18 years for me, and it looked like the crowd was 90% over 40, with a few curious hipsters and some kids coming along with dads. Show got off wrong with problems with the video projector, so the band aborted Frank intro and assembled quickly for “Imaginary Diseases” (also had to cut short the band/solo piece at the end due to the same). Bozzio was there, but apparently had blown out his right bicep (in Vegas?), and had to sing “Cute” and “Chin” front and center (he said he was very uncomfortable not being behind his kit, being the “shy” person he was), although he was coaxed by Dweez into some amazing one-armed drumming for “Punky’s.” Vai tore it up, with an incredibly smokin’ “Inca.” Throughout it all, Dweezil was very relaxed (despite the video & Bozzio snafus), unassuming & capable. Seemed like he was subduing his solos to emulate Frank, moreso than the VH pyrotechnics of his early playing (this was even more apparent when trading licks with Vai…seemed DZ had to slide into the fast-n-bulbous runs that Vai had out of the gate). Dweezil also made a pass at conducting the band, but it seemed a little staged, like he was simply (in his own words) “trying to trip up the band,” instead of adding eyebrows like FZ used to do. Napoleon’s voice still sounded great, hitting all the right notes (particularly nailed “Idiot” and “Trouble”), and Joe Travers did a fine job with Frank’s spoken lyrics (i.e., the narration for “Punky’s”). Generally, well worth the ticket price, although like many others I left the show hungry for the original (went home and fell asleep to “Live in New York”). Interesting that the setlist stayed in the 60′s and 70′s, despite Vai’s presence (what, no “Stevie’s Spanking?”). Also, DZ said he was having so much fun he wished they could do this every year. Here’s to hoping they do.

  135. P-Rip says:

    I also saw the show in Phoenix. Some additonal comments:
    1) A friend who was at the Manchester show said the video segment of the group playing with Zappa was a bit spooky. Granted there were technical problems so each video segment only ran a minute or two, but it didn’t seem particularly effective to me. It seemed like a gimmick. Maybe it was a different experience in a different venue.
    2) A little bit of Vai goes a long way. I wonder if he is capable of playing a straight solo, without the “stunt guitar” stuff. If you have seen it once….you’ve seen it. Not much in the way of musical ideas.
    3) The band is at it’s best playing as an ensemble. The solos tend to be technical, dry or unsuccessfully imitative (keyboard solo on Inca Roads). The most musically interesting solo of the night was taken by Jamie Kime. I would have liked to hear more of him and less of Vai.
    4) As mentioned before, mostly veteran Zappa fans, some dragging their kids, plus a few curious others. If this was true of other venues, then this is simply an exercise in nostalgia without much future.
    5) The T-shirt stand had the “Imaginary Diseases” and Bozzio CD for sale. A few lookers, but no buyers. I wonder what that says?
    6) NMB pretty much commanded the stage. He was the only one there with “Zappa Magic”.
    7) If the primary purpose is to re-kindle interest in Frank’s music, why is a new Dweezil CD offered on Zappa.com instead of things Zappa fans have been waiting over a decade for?
    Good show, excellent musicians, good to hear the tunes again, but not sure I see a future in it.

  136. abe says:

    ZPZ in anaheim was GREAT! there was no intro movie or chunga’s probably due to the small venue. But it was sold out. got to meet steve vai and nappy before the show and steve was even kind enough to sign my them or us cd cover! setlist seemed to be the same as before but w/o penguin in bondage. high energy, great playing, and dweez and the band even put a little eyebrows on the gig. hung out with MARIO FUENTE from right here on the KUR boards, and my girl and I. all in all, it was a very very impressive show and i definetly would see them again…..actually i will tonight at the wiltern!

  137. Jim McKinley says:

    I saw the ZPZ show at Meadowbrook in Detroit with John Burnham who commented above and it was incredible. I had 2nd row orchestra pit about 10-15 from Steve Vai, Napolean Murphy Brock and Dweezil (thanks again for those tickets John! ;). Great selection of tunes and great playing by all. Dweezil did a great job covering Frank’s solos also. Here’s a set list from a fellow concert goer who says he got it from a roadie:
    Imaginary Diseases
    LMTWTB
    Floretine Pogen
    Pygmy Twylyte
    Idiot Bastard SOn
    Cheepnis
    King Kong
    Yellow Snow
    St Alfonzo
    Father O’Blivion
    Inca Road
    I’m so cute
    Trying to grow a chin
    City of tiny lights
    Punky’s whips
    Black Page 1 and 2
    Peaches
    Montana
    Village of the sun
    Edchinda’s arf
    Zomby Woof
    Chunga’s Revenge
    O.C ( short intro) if they played it, I missed it
    Trouble
    Sofa ??? The question marks are on the set list, so they may have expected to come up against the curfew

  138. Meepzork says:

    Anaheim was goodtimes. Boy was it packed though. In hindsight i should have went to the wiltern show instead (for the seats) because the sound up top at HOB was pretty crap and watching everything on the video screen was lame. I was 30 minutes late because the HOB website said the show started at 8:30 :( and i left after ZombyWoof because I wasnt feeling well. But I did get downstairs for a bit to see bozzio and vai. Anyone have a complete setlist for Anaheim?
    Dont get me wrong, I thought the show was great and the musicians were top notch (and the saxaphone girl was a cutie too…) but I think I prefer Project/Object w/Napolean and Ike. You get practically the same show if not better for a fraction of the price, the venues are more intimate, and they have suprise guests too (last time I saw them I think they had Roy Estrada and Mike Keneally)
    Just my 2 cents
    p.s. i saw lots of people come out of the show, not really saying anything, just with these huge smiles stuck on their face. that was kinda nice.

  139. xoc says:

    That setlist sounds about right, except that they played Hungry Freaks before LMTWTB, and I think Token of My Extreme under the band member shoutouts at the end. Thanks for identifying the opening song… I was singing it in my head, like I had heard it a million times before, but I could NOT put a name to it.
    I really did smile the entire time. It was a treat to see Steve Vai’s cartoony playing up close. As much as I would’ve loved seeing Bozzio play, it was hilarious seeing him sing up front. He looked a lot like Bob Flanagan. (I was the guy with the rainbow mohawk, incidentally)

  140. xoc says:

    Sorry, I just realized that setlist was referring to a different show entirely. Although, I have to say, it’s nearly identically to the Anaheim HoB show.

  141. mellowd says:

    OK.
    Just back from the LA show, so here goes….
    Any Zappa is good Zappa!
    highlights included: (for me anyway)
    stinkfoot (show opener)
    TYCOWYD
    Idiot Bastard Son
    black page (diva dancing onstage)
    king kong
    inca roads
    eat that question!!!!!
    trying to grow a chin
    Punkys whips (w/one armed bozzio)
    peaches
    Village–>Arf
    zomby woof (vai guitar masturbation)
    chungas (w/frank) –yes it works!
    OC lumber truck intro–>
    trouble everyday
    We expected a little more for the hometown show, but it is what it is… for the $ I have to agree, Project Object gives you more for less! It seemed like all the “players” we on an audition, rather than playing with the belief of FZ
    Not to say they didnt kick ass… they did, but they almost didnt get the jokes if you know what I mean. I will go back again and again, DZ played great! SV was so so…
    I may be naieve but where are Ike Willis, Bobby Martin, Chad Wackerman, Ed Mann and Ray White (among others???) why not them? Zappa Rules Thanks for the music

  142. Cal Zombie says:

    WOW! Just got in from the LA Wiltern Show!!
    What an experience!
    The band was tight, tight, tight, and preformed well.
    I do have to hand it to DZ for stepping out and playing Frank’s Music. That takes Guts!
    And Dweezil has the guts, as well as the Chops to pull this off.
    NMB was just as I rememberd him, and it was a pleasure to see him again.
    I have such great memories (not to sound too much like an old timer!!) of NMB and FZ intertwining back in the day…they were GREAT together. The banter between the two of them could make audience laugh out loud!!
    NMB sings ALL of the leads now, which is a bit different, but he excels, and commands the audience….you could tell that the LA crowd was happy to see him (like and old friend you haven’t seen for years!!).
    The players ARE tight, and seem like thay are having fun together…and this IS important!!
    Scheila Gonzalez, in particular, stood out and grabbed this audience, and was an immediate fave! What a talent!
    Loved “Peaches” “Village/Arf” and “Trouble”. They sounded as good, if not better than ever!
    DZ seemed a bit shy, and does not have the sharp wit, or gift of conversation/banter on stage that his Dad had…..but this is OK with us as fans….we DO appreciate your effort here, Dweezil…we do!
    I was wondering what was going thru your head, when you were playing your Dad’s Music……I’m sure Frank would be proud….as a long time fan and admirer….I was!
    **NOTE to Sound Man**…Louder is not always better! Great mix as we started off, but as we progressed into this show (“Zombie Wolf”) sound became too loud and MUDDLED….vocals almost “distorted” and buried….step away from the “faders” dude!
    DZ….Thanks for a GREAT experience!
    Loved it!
    ~cz~

  143. Mario Fuente says:

    My take on the Anaheim and Wiltern shows:
    Last night’s Anaheim show was killer! The venue sucked (too many people–hot as fuck!), but all in all a very nice show. While I’ll agree with some of the posters about this being kind of a nostalgia trip for the oldtimers like me, it’s still fucking nice to hear live Zappa music. I’ve seen P/O a few times and will agree, too, that their shows contain a lot more “eyebrow,” but they’re certainly not as tight as Dweezil’s group. The kids kick ass! And, as usual, Nappy was great. I’m not a big fan of Vai and his sound effects instrument that looks like a guitar, but he was still cool to see. Terry seemed to absolutely love running around the stage with a mike in his hand—he had me laughing my ass off.
    I thought I’d see a bit more at the Wiltern show, kind of a homecoming for Dweezil, but that didn’t happen. Maybe my expectations were too high (I was hoping some more guests would show up). The only “guest” tonight was Diva and her multi-colored hair dancing to Black Page. Oh well…
    I saw Frank about 15-20 times. No matter how hard P/O and Dweezil try, they’ll NEVER be able to conjure up the magic that Frank did. But I commend all parties involved for keeping the music alive.
    It was also very cool to meet and hang out with ABE and his girl for both shows. We even managed to meet FRUNOBULAX at tonight’s show.
    Dweezil says that this might be an annual thing. I hope it happens.
    P.S. One of my favorite parts of tonight’s show was seeing a 12-year-old kid singing along during Trouble Every Day. (!)

  144. makeajazznoise says:

    June 16th Toronto Ontario Canada
    Hummingbird Centre for the Perforing Arts
    Wow! I have studied this tour extensively, yet the show still exceeded all of my expectations. I had read every review, (at the time) had listened to 5 complete shows (by the time of this writing, on the 19th, I have 9, including the Toronto show, Im listening to it as I write this), downloaded every video clip I had found, and read every article and interview related to this tour yet I was still astounded. A lot of my friends said I was nuts/that I was ruining it for myself listening to all the shows ahead of time. I disagreed, stated that I will know and realize every little nuance that was different/unique to the performance. That said, upon arrival we were informed at the door by a H.C. staff that Napoleon Murphy Brock would not be there (and that we could choose not to attend and get a refund – yeah right!) Now I knew that we were in for a unique performance. I expected nothing less anyways, but now it was apparent before I walked in! I purchased 2 t-shirts and a crappy little pamphlet/program designed by Diva and headed in to find that my 3rd row seats were actually 2nd row as only the center section had a 1st row (bonus!). The announcement was a family emergency that Nappy had to be home to tend to but we all speculated that he couldnt get across the border. We recalled a similar situation when Project Object came to Toronto a few years back and no N.M.B. (This seems confirmed since he was there the next night with ZpZ in Chicago.)
    Opening the show was FZ and the 1973 Mothers of Invention on a big screen: video footage from the Roxy video that they have been teasing us for 3 years would be coming soon (Rolling Eyes) . It was nice to finally see about 20-30 minutes of this footage, but I want the 4 hours on dvd promised in the trailer on the Baby Snakes dvd menu and on the website back in the fall of 2003. But… thats another story. After watching Montana and Duprees Paradise with Frank larger than life, out came Dweezil and the “young” band. Now, I only refer to the “kids” as the younger members of the band that werent veterans of previous touring bands of Franks’. They were all established and have distinguished careers of their own, but the musicianship displayed by each and every one of them on this night was incredible. This band is *tight*. They play incredibly intricate, complex music and can stop on a dime… and improvise wonderfully. I was going to end with this, but it should be said here: Frank would be proud. Honestly, I would not have been disappointed in the least had the special guests not been there. This is not a knock on the FZ veterans chosen at all, that is a testament to how good the kids are! (actually, N.M.B. *wasnt* there)
    They opened with Imaginary Diseases, a song which has haunted me now for weeks since listening to the first show of this tour I downloaded. See, it is almost like a new FZ song, since it had never been released on an official FZ album until recently. Sure – I have a crappy bootleg cassette copy of it that hasnt seen the light of day in over 10 years but hearing it so much the past few weeks I have had it stuck in my head all day every day… singing it… whistling it… The band was jumping in time to the initial bass line until their individual parts came up, likely expelling some of the pent up energy waiting to perform again. You could immediately see that the “kids” are really enjoying this tour, they’re playing 5-6 nights a week yet are still so enthusiastic. They are playing very challenging music and pulling it off well no, well doesnt suit this, pulling it off spectacularly… it has to be a hell of a rush. Dweezil has really come along as a guitar player and bandleader. He has evolved from a proggressive hair metal shredder to a style of his own: now his phrasing is a lot like his fathers’, but he still has that bit of shred in him and can really take off with blistering fury. As a bandleader he was poised and seemed pretty confident, although a little quiet/reserved. If there are future versions of this tour (?how about yearly? raises eyebrows LOL) maybe with more experience and confidence he will become more animated.
    Without Napoleon there to sing, there were changes made obviously, starting with drummer Joe Travers singing the first rendition of Stinkfoot played on the tour so far (already another unique point for Toronto!). Joe did a great job singing FZ and/or Napoleon sung parts all night he sounded surprisingly like Frank! Into a superb King Kong, showcasing the talents of not only the band, but the crowd as well. Dweezil taught us some hand signals and conducted both the stage and the entire venue. Nice to see the Dweez incorporate some audience participation too, Frank would be proud. Everyone on the stage got at least a little solo in King Kong, and everyone impressed me. Joe Travers’ was short, but I knew that we of course had more coming. Jamie Kime got his moment early, which I was glad for since I think it would be pretty intimidating being a guitar player on a stage with Dweezil Zappa and (later) Steve Vai. Pete Griffin reminded me of Scott Thunes, not so much in his playing style, but the fact that he seemed just a little out of place socially and style wise, but could play his ass off and belonged there. Scheila Gonzalez, who already has proven herself the whole tour and this night through Dont Eat the Yellow Snow, St. Alphonsos and Father Oblivion as a competent backup singer, took the lead vocals (for the first time on the tour, again unique to Toronto show!) for Inca Roads and she was great. Even with Napoleon back, they should consider allowing her to sing it for the rest of the tour (that or Village of the Sun). While all of the kids were superb musicians, if there was one to stand out it was Scheila, she was amazing. She impressed by playing saxophone with one hand and keyboards with the other at times, she is someone whose career I will follow beyond this tour. Throughout a few sax solos she got through the night I wondered who influences her most, as I heard elements of a lot of styles in her playing.
    After a brief intermission they introduced the great Terry Bozzio. I guess I lied when I said I wouldnt have missed any of the veterans had they not been there, because it is always a thrill to see this man perform live. My seats were literally about 8 feet away from Terry, right in front of him, if he still had long hair he could have been spraying us with sweat LOL. My eyes were glued to him most of the time he was on the stage. After a few heavier, comedic Sheik Yerbouti Terry sung numbers (Im So Cute, Tryin To Grow a Chin), and a “sycophantic love fest” (as Dweezil put it) we got a real treat: a Pound For a Brown. This had only been played once before on the tour so we were getting some more somewhat “unique to Toronto” treatment. Some amazing soloing by most all throughout, but I have to comment on the tasty accents thrown in by the horns (Scheila and Aaron) during Dweezil and Terrys trade off soloing towards the end. Aaron Arntzs keyboard playing was quite good throughout the night, but I thought that there wasnt enough emphasis on his trumpet playing. He and Scheila played quite well together. I think a little bit of a trumpet solo and one less keyboard solo might have been nice (but not necessary). One minor disappointment was that Billy Hulting didnt get another solo, he played his ass off all night of course. I always have loved the parts Frank wrote for his percussionists and felt that Ed and Ruth were a couple of the most underappreciated musicians ever. Well, kudos to Billy Hulting for pulling off all those tricky little notes to a tee. His playing was one of the highlights of the night for me, a lot of the songs just wouldnt work without him. I then got to witness a couple of songs I never thought I would see played live in my lifetime: Terry Bozzio playing Punkys Whips and The Black Page. I was astounded. Steve Vai came out during the break between Black Page 1 and Black Page 2 and my notes (I took a little notepad that I didnt use too much… I didnt want to look away from the stage) for Black Page 2 were just (in capital letters) “holy fuck!”. Stellar. I thank the whole band for playing this, and I thank Frank Zappa for writing it. What an icredible piece of music!
    Terry left and the band played on with Steve Vai showcasing his talents through the beautiful Peaches en Regalia, Montana, Village of the Sun (Steves guitar intro to that always makes me misty LOL) and the other highlight of the night for me (the other being black Page 2) : Echidnas Arf (Of You). What an incredible song, words cant begin to describe the performance. You could see it in the bands eyes they loved it too, they nailed it and they response was overwhelming by both us (crowd reaction) and the bands looks on their faces. Probably the biggest surprise of the night was Steve Vai singing lead on Montana! Remember, Nappy wasnt there and everyone had to step up a bit, and Stevie Vai, that little Italian virtuoso actually was pretty good! You could see he was having fun with it.
    Since union rules wouldnt permit the show to go past 11pm (thats a whole other issue… dont get me started!) the band didnt actually leave the stage, but instead went into the “encores”. Terry came back out and they did a quick abbreviated O.C.L.T. intro into Trouble Every Day. They were pretty faithful to the original, not deviating into current social & political commentary that I thought that they might have done, but of course I wasnt expecting them to having heard a few versions done on the tour already, just an observation. Of course, they were playing the music of Frank Zappa, and I suppose it wouldnt be right in this context to change lyrics, its just the nature of that song would have allowed for some amusement had they done it. Steve Vai did some real showboating, but when you have that kind of talent, I guess its allowable. Dweezil and Steve did some really amazing ping pong soling, and I cracked upwhen they broke into the “Freebird” riff while soling together. A Terry Bozzio drum solo kicked everyone in the face of course, but then it was a real surprise to see Terry point at and hand over the reins to Joe Travers to solo, and it was really something to see Terry grooving to Joe’s drum solo, which by the way, even following a Bozzio solo, was amazing. You could see it even Terry totally dug it. They slowed it down while Dweezil introduced the band and the music of his father, over the Token Of My Extreme melody, and he then surprised Steve Vai by saying “we only have a few minutes left, but I feel we didnt hear enough Steve Vai tonight, so Id like for him to take a little solo before we finish up” and the band continued with the T.O.M.E. vamp while Steve improvised a stellar solo to take us to 11pm when the lights immediately came on (Damn stagehand or whatever union!).
    Since I was right there, afterwards I walked up to the stage and got to briefly talk to Scheila Gonzalez and I waited patiently while Dweezil made his way along the throng and I got an awkward picture with him and he signed both my program and an inaccurate set list that I was able to scoop off of the stage. Its funny the set list obviously was severly altered since Napoleon wasnt there, and due to the time constraints. I will scan them and post them eventually, but I wanted to get this review up a.s.a.p. I took a disposable camera, but the pictures arent very good. They appear surprisingly far away (no zoom on a disposable eh), the pics dont do my seats any justice LOL. Had I taken a digital camera with optical zoom I could have had some amazing shots! Bad as they are, I will post those pics one of these days on a site somewhere.
    Thank you Dweezil for doing this tour. Frank would be proud.

  145. abe says:

    Just to let you know, the Wiltern show was wonderful. i won’t go into the long play by play but, nappy, aaron, scheila, jamie, billy, pete, vai, bozzio, diva, and dweezil, thank you. i am too young, or rather, didn’t get exposed to this life changing music early enough, to have seen Frank, so this was amazing to me. I got to hang with MARIO FUENTE, a great guy, and met FRUNOBULOX, (sorry we didn’t get to talk more in depth than, hello, how are you type stuff) and met some new friends. it was great. standing ovations and all. thank you to ZFT and dweezil, and to you barry and KUR for linking MARIO and I up.

  146. Cockroach Phil says:

    Men, oh men….
    I’m listening to the ZPZ show in Paris. I decided to get to this shiw, but financial problems didn’t want that.. FUCK MONEY.
    Bozzio kicks ass.
    DZ RULES
    VAI is GOD.
    NMB is NMB.
    Got it ?
    Gosh, I wish I was there…
    Frank, my man, be proud of all this, cause Nobody ever had a tribute like that.
    Love U FZ, forever…
    Phil, 28, still ripping..

  147. Frunobulax says:

    I was there at the Wiltern (as implied by abe and Mario Fuente) last night, and thought that the show was wonderful! As I was born too late to see the Maestro in concert, this was definately the next best thing. I too will be skipping on a play by play (for now) and just say that it was a dynamite show. I only regret that I wasn’t able to meet up with abe and Mario Fuente before the show and only caught them because I saw abe leaving for a drink and hoped that he’d some around near my seat. More to come on, especially a setlist review.

  148. Wilma Handu says:

    Dweezil ZAPPA!!! Dweezil ZAPPA!!! Dweezil ZAPPA!!! Dweezil ZAPPA!!! Dweezil ZAPPA!!! Dweezil ZAPPA!!!-Napolean Murphy Brock
    Zappa Plays Zappa: San Francisco
    This concert was so arpeggio, I don’t think I have the words. I loved every single second of it. Well, where should I start? I think the concert started around 8:20 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m. Down comes the screen and the credits rolled for Montana/ Dupree’s Surprise from the Roxy in 1973. Napolean comes out with a with a white jumpsuit and then Ruth is shown with her half shirt. George Duke then warms up the keyboard. The sickest thing in the video was when Frank came on, the camera panned down to his shoes. Those boots were so pimpin’, it caused me to smile. As the video finished, out came the band with Imaginary Diseases. I never heard of this song. It sounded great to me though, no complaints. I then stuck in my earplugs, it was a good move.
    In my nose I could smell the hippy weed all of the time. I hate that shit. Everyone was smoking it, but me and some other smart ones. But here is what I witnessed.
    Hungry Freaks, Daddy -my favorite oldie, Napolean was a riot.
    Let’s Make The Water Turn Black -Napolean’s voice cracked a little.
    Florentine Pogen -I heard Shelia belt out something and I went WOW!!
    Pygmy Twylyte -Joe was on fire, his drums sound so clean and pure.
    The Idiot Bastard Son -Napolean was funny.
    Cheepnis -Joe was so funny with the nuclear force story.
    Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow -Napolean kept screaming like a girl and grabbing his crotch and asshole. It was in tune with the beat I say.
    King Kong/Filthy Habits -Was very entertaining with Dweezil pointing to Joe and Peter then to Billy. Joe played the little cymbal when Dweezil signed the burning hand symbol and Billy played the little gong. It was so funny when Dweezil caught Joe banging the little cymbal when he didn’t want him to yet. Peter played the bass like Les Claypool does in Pork Soda. Everyone had a solo op.
    St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast -Aarons bugle was so loud, it was sick.
    Eat That Question -Aaron was on fire. Then Dweezil brought out Warren DeMartini from RATT!! They dueled for 10 minuets.
    Inca Roads -Dweezil said it took him 2 years to learn this one. It’s his favorite song to play.
    I’m So Cute -After Terry apologizes for being hurt and not being able to play the drums, he says “I sure hope that I don’t let anyone down in the drumming community.” This song was so flippin’ loud. I loved it. I have more to say about Terry below.
    Tryin’ to Grown a Chin -Terry excells in stage presence. He has the whole Henry Rollins stance. He jumps up and down like he’s 20. He was so funny with the other guys.
    Punky’s Whips -Terry admitted his love for Punky. Terry then got behind the kit and drummed one handed. He loves his cymbals. One sounds like a firework sound. But, Terry said that he asked Napolean where he got all his energy from. Napolean’s answer was Ginseng!
    Peaches en Regalia -Dweezil said this song put him to sleep when he was on tour with Frank. Its food for your ears. The shortest song of the night.
    Montana -Napolean with his tweezers on the pygmy pony. Shelia with back up vocals was perfect. Terry is covering his face and fidgiting on the side of the stage. He looked like he was nervous or just being supportive until it was his turn again.
    Village of the Sun -Napolean sounded a little firm on vocals.
    Enchidna’s Arf (of you) -Aaron with bugle and Billy playing vibes was insane.
    Zomby Woof -Does Steve Vai know that he blows doors on guitar? He cranked up his amp so much, my face melted. He plays so fast, so good, and inventive. I was in awe the whole time, he didn’t want to stop playing. When Steve played his guitar quietly, some jerk yelled out, “Fuck You,” and that wasn’t cool. Big standing O.
    Black Pages Part 1 -Terry returns to the kit one handed and duels Joe. Terry was so fast and powerful. He could have exploded his other bicep. Insane duel and song. Joe was sick when he had his solo time. The beats were like a machine gun, firing out in order.
    Chunga’s Revenge -The screen comes down and Dweezil starts strumming and Joe plays the drums in sync. Then Dweezil stops and we here Frank and Joe play together only. Dweezil ends it with a new ending.
    Encore
    Out comes…
    Oh No
    Orange County Lumber Truck
    Then…
    SOFA
    Dweezil brings out his mom, Gail Zappa!!!
    She and Dweezil end it with a jump in the air and BANG! Over.
    Dweezil then names everyone in the band while they all play A Token of His Extreme softly. Then Napolean says, “Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, Dweezil ZAPPA, it was emotional each time when he said ZAPPA. Everyone went nuts. Lights went off and on each time. Dweezil did his royal wave goodbye. Everyone was off stage except for Napolean. He got the last laugh. He Hissed at the front row or something funny like that. Fade out music.
    What a night. I had a blast. I was a little sweaty from sitting in my balcony seat. I didn’t bring my camera or phone. I was old school. The memory will be in my head forever. I went to the stage and people got setlists. I saw Aaron give out the last one. I was left with nothing but my new tour shirt I bought before the show. Outside, I passed a hundred bums and dime bag pushers. Do something GAVIN!!! Open the mental institutions again Bush!
    Terry Bozzio. I thought Terry blew everyone there out of the water. He is my MVP. His skill is unmatched. He plays and sings with so much passion. He told us that Frank would have wanted him to participate somehow, and he did it in a big way. Terry, I am not worthy. You showed a lot of balls. One handed is not easy, but it came naturally for you. Did you call up Rick Allen from Def Leppard for advice? Terry, I hope that your arm recovers and that you may play again with Dweezil.
    That’s it folks.
    Wilma Handu

  149. Danny says:

    I totally agree with Wilma about the show but the setlist is alittle bit incorect, I had a note pad that I jotted almost un readable notes on to remember the set.
    Video: Montana & Dupree’s Paradise
    Imaginary Diseases
    Hungry Freaks Daddy
    Lets Make The Water Turn Black
    Florentine Pogen
    Pygmy Twylyte
    The Idiot Bastard Son
    Cheepnis
    King Kong W/ Heavy Duty Judy, Thirteen, Filthy Habbits, The Pink Panther
    Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow
    St. Alfonzo’s Pankcake Breakfast
    Father O’Blivion
    Inca Roads
    Eat That Question W/ Warren DeMartini from RATT
    Im So Cute
    Trying To Grow A Chin
    Punky’s Whips
    The Black Page #2
    Peaches En Regalia
    Montana
    Village Of The Sun
    Enchidna’s Arf (Of You)
    Zomby Woof
    Chungas Revenge W/FZ
    Break for about 3 mins
    Oh No
    Son Of Orange County
    More Trouble Every Day
    Tush Tush Tush (Token Of My Extreem)
    Company Bow
    Sofa
    Absolutly amazing show 3 and a Half Hours one tiny break I was on the floor and the sound was great. Dz was a little quite and the start but was quickly bumped up to mach the rest of the Band.
    One last note there were Six Cameramen there last night Two in the Balconys Two on the Floor at the foot of the stage and two on stage behingd the band DZ told us that is was being Filmed. possible DVD?

  150. Mario Fuente says:

    Here’s some cool video footage of Dweezil talking about Frank’s SG:
    http://www.guitarplayertv.com/
    Check the menu on the left.

  151. ken duvall says:

    I missed the show (NY) but I thank everyone
    for the play-by-plays !
    See ya at Halloween !

  152. Dan Homan says:

    From the time I reserved the tickets for this concert (at the Tower Theater just outside of Philadelphia), I had mixed emotions about going. Frank Zappa was one of my favorite musicians since I first heard him, but since becoming a Christian, I’ve found a lot of his music hard to listen to, for the obvious reasons.
    In spite of that, I brought my granddaughter and her boyfriend. I wanted them to see the quality performances that I anticipated, and I was not disappointed. I don’t believe I’ve often heard musicianship that equaled what I heard at this concert. I did have some difficulty, though, and it didn’t all have to do with my beliefs.
    As I saw and heard others comment, it was much too loud. My brother said that he’d been to a Jethro Tull concert, recently, where the volume was lower, and the music was very well balanced, and he could hear the instruments much more clearly.
    I was relieved, though, when the first set seemed to be ending, because I thought the show was ending. I was glad I brought my granddaughter and her boyfriend, and I planned to put some grandfatherly spin on the show on the ride home. When I realized that they were just breaking to set up some more equipment, I thought, “oh, no!” (old guy thing), but I figured I could make it through another set. When they started, though, it seemed even louder than the first set. I settled in and prayed.
    During the break, I said to my brother, who also came with us, that I hoped they’d play something from Hot Rats in the second set, like maybe Peaches n Regalia. They did, but I’d begun to really enjoy the music even before that. In spite of the volume, they played wonderfully throughout the rest of the show. I was captivated, and I figured Pink Floyd already did my hearing in anyway.
    After the concert, as we were leaving, I asked whether Frank played less loudly or is it just that I got old. I repeated that question to other friends over the next few days. The standard answer was, “both”.
    We also talked about what a fine concert it was. If they come to town again, I have a few other grandchildren I’d like to bring, and their parents, too. I do hope they turn it down, though!
    (…by the way, does Dweezil look a little like Donovan!?!…)

  153. Dan Homan says:

    I think I should change “they played wonderfully throughout the rest of the show” to “they played wonderfully throughout the whole show”!

  154. Toby says:

    I saw the Anaheim gig last Thursday. I was so blown away, I got tickets for SF. In this review, I compare the two shows.
    Well, well, well, what can you say? Definitely two of my favorite all-time concerts! Loved all the tunes! LOVED Napoleon! CRUSHED that Bozio was hurt. Pleasantly surprised by Dweez: his soloing was usually smooth and Frankesque and his bandleading was decent, especially in SF.
    The HOB show knocked my freakin’ sox off! What energy! Very loud and in charge sound. The band was immediate pumped up by the crowd. Great instrumentation, but missing a trombone or bari sax. So wonderful to hear a mallet player, but wasn’t able to view him at HOB. Setlist was just perfect, IMHO. They played my favorite tunes and yours too probably. A few reviewers above expected Dweez to play more “serious” works, but I wanted fun vocal tunes with all the technical passages included, which is exactly what I got! I saw the Absolute Ensemble play classical zappa, and it was great, but I wanted to rock! A lot of haters on here who bash this tour, but it was better than I expected and quite entertaining. No, Dweezil isn’t great with the crowd like his dad, and he doesn’t get Frank’s humor. But I didn’t expect him to! The worst part was the hand signals, but that lasted all of five minutes. Ahmet would have helped a lot as the comic relief. Steve Vai is great and all, but he played too much at HOB, almost stealing the show at the end. Steve was more restrained and effective in SF. Overall, both shows were too loud, especially HOB. But the mix was way better in SF. At the HOB, the mix steadily improved, but the levels were too high for that little sweatbox. OK, so the band isn’t as tight as the ’74 tour and they cut some musical corners here and there, but, my god people, they played the s**t out of those songs and all members were more than competent. I think Joe rushed a few tunes at HOB, but it was a way livelier crowd with everyone screaming all the time. Really fun! At the Warfield, the entire audience is seated, with random fists pumping in a sea of bobbing heads. So, Warfield was more laid back, but it’s a much bigger venue, with a great view for everyone.
    About the music: loved almost every minute of it! My faves were Florentine Pogen, Yellow Snow, all Roxy tunes, Black Page, Zombie Woof, Punky’s Whips. Napoleon is definitely the hardest working man in showbusiness, as he goes from sax, to lead vox, to dancing, to flute, and back to singing all in one tune. He sounded great, not cracking, knowing his range. Nice backing vox too. Great drummer, but not zappa caliber as noted above. Bass was always usually right on and blended in nicely, not taking too many chances at HOB, but had a nice slap session in SF. Aaron (keys) went OFF during inca roads at HOB, doing this computer voice craziness, but wasn’t feeling it as much in SF. His SF solo included some nice doubling of trumpet and keys. Liked the alto solo better in SF (they were different players, right?). Sooooo glad they played Sun Village into Echidna’s. Great sound on that one as well as Black page, zombie woof, montana. On the oldest tunes, some subtleties and eyebrows were lost or forgotten. Although they played with little dynamic sensitivity (SF was better in this regard), they phrases were clean and clear and generally together. Split parts and solo parts were played with confidence and flair. SF did sound bit out of tune (alto?), but overall, nice blending.
    Dweez was stoic and seemed genuinely happy to play the tour and was appreciative of the audience. He liked to just nod and listen as if saying to himself “wow, another night of this beautiful music by great players, and I get to be part of it!” I see that there’s a big controversy about him and all. But my take is that this is a great tour, and it got me to check out project/object too.
    Both shows were emotional for almost everyone, even the players, but in different ways. At HOB, it was fever of excitement. The crowd was a bit younger and we were packed in like sardines. The tone at the Wafield was more nostalgiac, as it was the final tour date. Gail and Diva even came out at the end and Dweez trembled as he cried. I couldn’t have aksed for more, and the only reason there aren’t my favorite concerts is because I was lucky enough to see Herbie Hancock a few years ago. Never got to see FZ, though.

  155. DaFish says:

    Saw the Wiltern Show after seeing FZ 12 times and Project Object numerous times (also mixing FOH for them on a few occasions). Dweezil did a fine job of presenting the music and keeping true to the recorded versions of the material. It was a little stiff, but he did a great job! Why did it take so long for the Zappa Family Trust to do this? And where was Ike Willis (12 year member of FZ’s band) and all of the Joes Garage/Thingfish material? I will go see him again, but for my money a P/O show is more entertaining for the buck!!.

  156. Vincent Monzentini says:

    took my wife & 19 year old son to the Anaheim show, it was great!!! I was suprised they had it in such a small venue? I would have thought they could have filled a larger arena?
    never saw Frank but have been a fan since the mid 70′s Dweezil did a fine job and Terry, Nepolean and Steve Vai all were smokin’ (would have really liked to have seen Terry Bozzio play but what can you say?) wasn’t dissapointed in the show one bit… have become a bigger fan since finding this site (thanks man) and my wife & kids are comin’ around too… great stuff!!!

  157. greg says:

    I love most of Frank, but never a fan of the big lead guitar ad nauseum. Went to RAH London show. 55 POUNDS and PROG ROCK HELL.
    I was reminded why we needed punk. No Gail, no Ahmet, Napoleon coming on like a west end musical, the humour lost, fine compositions destroyed. Someone stop Dweezil, the poor kid knows not what he does.
    Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  158. Al Plotkin says:

    The Boston show was one of the best concerts ever. Frank would be very proud. Dweezil and his band were so good that they didn’t even need the special guest stars. Truly impressive to this lifetime musician.

  159. Duane Hoke says:

    The last time I saw Frank Zappa was March 4, 1988 at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, Illinois. I had just seen him the night before and the last show before coming to Chicago – March 1, 1988. I had Zappa ring in my ears and my life wringing out the tears…My wife was burstingly pregnant with our first born. Life was about to get serious and she was adamant about not going anywhere until seedling number one was breathing.
    I had seen Frank before and was always left dazzled and amazed like a 16 year old boy kissing girl for the first time. You know that feeling. You are not sure what hit you, but you say, “Hit me again!” Somehow I knew this was Franks last tour. I was grateful my wife let me go, but lonely with the feeling this was an experience we would not truly share for the rest our lives.
    18 years later, I come home from the road and my wife is at work but the kids are home on a beautifully warm Spring Saturday. I begin to check the news, sports and (even though I feel betrayed because the ZFT has tour dates mostly overseas) Zappa.com. Lo and behold! NEW DATES and Chicago tickets are on sale…………
    My heart is pounding! I feel the excitement and curious feeling of a teenage boy in love. I stammer to my kids, “Wh-whe-wh-where’s my wallet? I yell for two oldest kids to see if they want to go. My daughter can’t make up her mind; I call my wife and try to entice her. Both of them play the “tell him what he wants to hear” reel. No time to be the chump – I shout down into the dungeon where my first born likes to call home and he’s excited by the idea of seeing live Zappa. Conveniently, this works as a birthday gift and I get two tickets. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of my son’s friends are musically illiterate and think vocals with pitch are old folk’s music.
    I resumed my work life on the road and had to spend time near Kansas City and then a good deal of time outside Atlanta. I traveled back to Kalamazoo Michigan by car arriving at 8:30AM on the 17th of June. Beaten down by the road.- I collapse into my bed. Ultimately my son and I travel to Chicago and see the ZPZ show at the Auditorium Theater later in the evening.
    My son has been listening to Frank since before he was born. Up until the last few years Zappa was the main musical accompaniment for each passing day in our home. He was exited and unsure of what to expect. It is difficult to find shows we can enjoy together as many of the acts I have seen have been forced to the club and bar circuits and these venues enjoy the revenue stream of ageing fans who love to drink. Rare to find an all ages show for my taste. For my part, I am skeptical as can be, but hoping Dweezil can make it a show to remember. We make to Chicago early thanks to a beautiful 2006 Ford Mustang and the absence of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois State Police. Chicago is cookin’ on this day. Ninety-plus degrees, windy and sunny. We parked in the underground garage by the lake and as we are making our way to the surface you can see the a curious dichotomy of the people arriving downtown. The crowds were somewhat heavy with everyday middle-aged men and their wives or their kids and the rich upper crusties in their formal attire. Seems Daniel Bareboim had decided to leave the CSO and it was his farewell performance. I love the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but Barenboim SUCKED! Goodbye. Bonus surprise for me.
    My son and I walk around the lakefront side of the City. He grows bored and I borough into my memories. I marvel at how much the City has changed yet seems the same. Forever Chicago remains part of my identity. It is wallpapered to the inside of my heart. Every time I return it feels like a school reunion. Awkward in its familiarity, part of me yearns to exist here while the life I lived is no longer in its shadow. My life as a child is filled with this City as a backdrop, yet my childhood is that of another person. Life’s journey has taken me to the back alley of suburban servitude in a dying state where a recession would seem like a boom. My children are not of Chicago’s loins, but of mine. They can hardly relate and I long for them to “get it.” Zappa is one thing my childhood shares with my son’s. We talk some. He mostly listens. Occasionally, we talk about our pending move to the “South” and about Zappa. While he listens to the music frequently, I am the freak who listens and reads and uses all things Zappa to channel any OCD tendencies I have. He asks me question about Zappa Plays Zappa which irk me because the information is available on the WEB. My patience is wearing thin as my anxiety builds. I show him the Auditorium and we circle the block. I hear the sound check as we stroll by the alleyway leading to the backstage. I have had many dreams of hearing Zappa live and I feel like disappointment is what awaits me.
    We gather near the front entrance and I look at the mix of the crowd and see there are many like myself, people who have brought others to share in the experience. Friends mingle and discuss the lore of Zappa shows faded in memory but solid and statuesque in the retelling. Fact and fiction rolled into legends. I overhear someone say they saw Frank take a shit on stage and another say he heard Frank ate Alice Cooper’s loaf. I guess sense and intelligence are not a requirement to enjoy the bombast of this art. Inside we make our way to the memorabilia booth. I get my son a shirt, some sticker/pin pack, and a “tour program”. Next stop I send my son to the can and order to beers. The heat of the day made me thirsty but not stupid. I was not going to have to leave to go to the head. I figured the show length might be longer than most.
    Below is what I will call my review of the show. It is not a blow by blow – just my report card.
    Chicago-June 17th, 2006
    A for effort
    A for Achievement
    Sound
    The sound was fantastic! OF course where you sit makes a difference and there will always be some variation, but this has to be one of the best places for audio enjoyment.
    Lighting
    This was the weakest portion of the show. The overall design was appropriate and up to date. Hopefully there were some technical difficulties to explain the mishaps during the drum duet. While Terry was soloing a spot flashed a couple of times on DZ and then when Terry finished and the Vaultmeister took over someone from the stage had to yell out to have the lights come up on Joe.
    Live entertainment…opps
    Ellis (sp?)
    DZ brought up a kid from the audience for the performance of the song with “guacamole queen”. This was worth the price of admission. Whatever the background to this interlude is, the kid apparently had the opportunity to communicate to DZ that he wanted to hear this song and so DZ brings him up on stage for the performance of INCA ROADS. Then the kid gets to help play part of the guitar solo, some bass and then some keyboard.
    The Band
    This is hard to speak to….The performance was overall an A, but it is difficult to see FZ music played without the “fun”. It appeared they had chemistry and all yet the performance reminded me of watching someone interview for a job and while all the answers were correct, the self-confidence and at ease demeanor has not fully developed.
    Very Special Guests
    Vai – It was good to see him play FZ again. I like his material on it’s own merit. I guess I am too old to enjoy his theatrics. I found myself turning my attention to the rest of the band during his performance.
    Brock – Make him part of the band.
    Bozzio – OH MY GAWD! I never saw Terry play with Frank…I missed more than I ever realized. Perhaps it was the position in the audio mix. The official releases do not do him justice. Charisma with a back-breaking beat. Bruce Lee of the drum kit.
    Audience
    I was surprised to see how welcoming the audience was and how much appreciation they had for the whole production. It was a good mix and plenty of parent child combos which should help with the stated goal for this tour.
    There were two annoying assholes seated in front of us talking nearly the entire time until they had to leave…..They acted like they paid a five dollar cover charge to see a local bar band and proceeded to get drunk and had to leave before the half-way mark.
    I sometimes forget my age. I was reminded again when I notice how many folks had to get up and go to the can…repeatedly. If you can’t make through a 3 hour concert, then get your prostate exam.
    DZ
    Each FZ show was unique and to be fair to Dweezil, we should not expect anything from him based on his father’s legacy. Frank blended the composer role within the performer role. Did Frank ever play the same solo? Dweezil is good but he is better outside of his father’s shadow. I like DZ and Z had spontaneity. I will go see these guys again in KC in October. I expect there will be some DZ added to the set list and maybe he can be more himself and add to FZ music instead of just paying homage. Be the human element and make it more than a reverent rehashing.

  160. jared says:

    i know i’m a little late here, as i saw the boston show a couple weeks back, but the thing that struck me about the concert was the total lack of political commentary. yeah, the music was nice… a great zappa cover band. but given the current apocalyptic stranglehold the republican beast has on the world, and that what we are talking about is nothing less than the Frank Zappa legacy living on, it seemed somewhat shallow, at least an opportunity squandered, to carry on the message against the very right-wing monster that Zappa saw coming way back, to inspire, remind, taunt, and tell the truth about this “great” country of ours and its apathetic “plastic people” (you think we’re singin’ bout someone else?). i can’t help but think Zappa would have been rabidly spewing said commentary/condemnation/inspiration if he was alive today. as a fan of 27, i find Zappa’s attitude and mission quite inspiring in the way of social action. we need more Frank Zappas in the world, and not just for the mind-boggingly tunes (but thank god for them too). RIP Frank. Love ya.

  161. Noel Batstone says:

    Quick note on the last contributor, re- political statements. Now, I’m not American (saw the Manchester show – quite emotional, quite beautiful), but I have to say that to demand words of political agitation from young Dweezil is a) unfair and b) beside the point and a mite superfluous.
    a) I was very struck by what a noble personal sacrifice Dweezil was making in putting himself on the line as the carrier of the flame. In no way should he feel obliged to do so, and in no way ought we to expect him to reproduce the FZ experience. He looked less than comfortable with his onstage “presence”, and was visibly rattled when the equipment broke down and then proceeded to administer him a nasty electric shock via the mic, Napolean and Joe calmly easing him through the experience. Indeed, his very discomfort intesified the magic of the event – The Dweeze wasn’t there out of some desperate craving for attention or recognition; his mission was purely musical, and his playing was evidence of his devotion to the great canon. Which brings us to…
    b) I remember Frank himself saying in an interview on BBC Radio 1 that Michael Jackson’s music stood a better chance of surviving not becuase of the size of the corpus (teeny), but becasue of the number of copies in circulation. After he died, a reviewer of an orchestral concert of his music remarked that it was in this arena – so-called “classical” – that his music was most likely to live on. (Let’s face it, if all the computers crash, there’ll still be the notes written on paper, and orchestras to perform it as a relic from a strange and wonderful age.) To the point: what we shouldn’t ever forget is the political power of THE MUSIC ITSELF. In my view, Frank Zappa was far more subversive, expressed himself most eloquently and most radically, through his music. Not only is music “the best”, it is also the most transcendent of the art-forms, and Frank’s music’s message of fierce independence of thought and freedom of spirit and imagination is far more potent than any soapboxing he or Dweezil or any of his followers – or anyone else for that matter – might do, and will remain so for centuries to come.
    I’m also a big Bob fan, and I know many have lambasted him for refusing to come out and SAY THINGS; I’m also aware that Frank DID come out and SAY THINGS. But it is up to us, the open-hearted listener, to see beyond the mere words, and to tap into the very essence, emotional and, dare I say it, intellectual, of what our great musical heroes express in their songs, their music and their very lives. “And you know something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” Are we the poor bemused Joneses, or are we the Jones Crushers?
    The defence rests.
    Viva Zappa and all who sail with him…
    (And thank you, Dweezil. We all owe you a great debt of gratitude and – I know it’s soppy, but… – love.)

  162. Jan Dekker says:

    I was in amsterdam (the first show) had a great time, if there is anybody out there in bootleg country who has a copy of the show Please, please, please seed it somewhere

  163. Tom Rhubart says:

    Tower Philly
    I thought that the Tower show was spectacular! I saw FZ there in ’88 and Dweezil lived up to my expectations. The only drawback was the sound and I found that rather dissapointing considering the venue. I saw in an earlier post that said that the sound in the balcony was “perfect”. I wish I had some of what he was on because the sound in the 13th row needed major improvement – not what I expected. I would have figured that after “Imaginary Diseases” they would have made the needed adjustments – but that didn’t happen until they got close to the second set.
    To open – the bass was way too over-powering and washed out which left me straining to hear the solos and melodies. I couldn’t hear Hulting until the middle of the first set. After they got the sound semi-corrected the stage expoded with such an amazing arrangement of songs I was in “shock and awe”. Not really impressed by the first two selections with Bozzio but he did finish strong.
    Nappy was fantastic and made the show. Vai kicked it, wish I could get more. Hope they come back around again – we could always use more FZ.