Sunday, July 29, 2007

zappa plays zappa

Last night my friend Anthony and I went to hear Zappa Plays Zappa perform at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. Both of us were fortunate enough to have seen Frank Zappa in concert three times (twice in 1984, once in 1988), so we were pretty psyched to hear Dweezil pay musical tribute to his dad's vast catalog of songs.

We were not disappointed. Dweezil has assembled a tight and talented group of musicians able to perform Frank's music with accuracy and humor. The special guest for this tour is long-time Zappa guitarist/vocalist Ray White. Ray sang his ass off last night, sounding just as good as he did in '84--highlights for me were his renditions of City of Tiny Lites and The Illinois Enema Bandit. Plus, he played a great solo in Advance Romance, trading bluesy licks with Dweezil.

At the merchandise table I purchased the new Zappa 2-CD set entitled Buffalo, a full concert from 1980. I've listened to the first disc so far: killer guitar solo on Pick Me, I'm Clean. I also bought the Classic Albums DVD that focuses on the making of Overnite Sensation and Apostrophe--this documentary is a must-have for any and all Zappa fans.

On the DVD, Dweezil sits at the mixing desk and isolates various tracks so you can hear all the cool little guitar and keyboard riffs that sometimes go unnoticed. He also play snippets from the sessions that were edited out of the final releases, including more great backing vocals from Tina Turner and the Ikettes. Plus, a full version of Montana shot live onstage at the Roxy in 1973! Buy this now--it is soooo worth the money.

Thanks to Anthony for the ticket, and thanks to Dweezil and band for an excellent night of music. And a special thank you to the Lemon Grass on Lee Road for a very satisfying pre-show Thai meal.

Life is good.

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