Zappa plays Zappa

I attended the Zappa Plays Zappa show at the Verizon Wireless Theater on Sunday night.
In all honesty, I was apprehensive about the show and had some doubts about how it might be.
I’ve seen Frank Zappa in concert twice so I know what a Zappa concert sounds like.

The idea that his son, Dweezil, would put together a band and try to perform his father’s music filled me with an understandable amount of apprehension and trepidation.

The fact that this band was touring with Napoleon Murphy Brock, Terry Bozzio and Steve Vai did lend the concept a certain amount of legitimacy in my mind and was intriguing.

When I got to the Verizon Wireless Theater it was pretty plain that the Houston Zappa fans were out in force. I saw many old faces and old friends as we got ready for the show.

The concert lasted for well over 3 hours and I gotta say…I was completely blown away.

I didn’t commit the set list to memory, but Joe found someone who did a nice job of documenting the show. This is how it went down last night:

Conducted improvisation – Andy – Call any vegetable (“Band From LA” arrangement) – Tell Me You Love Me

Who Are The Brain Police?

Florentine Pogen (Dweezil Zappa solo)

Pygmy Twylyte – The Idiot Bastard Son (’74 band arrangement) – Cheepnis

I’m The Slime (“Saturday Night Live” 1976 arrangement) (Billy Hulting – Don Pardo vocals) (Dweezil Zappa solo) – A Pound For A Brown On The Bus (Billy Hulting mallets/Scheila Gonzalez sax/Dweezil Zappa conducted improv only horns/Napoleon Murphy Brown sax/Dweezil Zappa conducted improv/Dweezil Zappa conducted audience improv/Aaron Arntz keyboard/Jamie Kime guitar/Pete Griffin bass/Dweezil Zappa conducted improv only horns/back to head of piece)

Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow – St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast – Father O’blivion – Joe Travers/Pete Griffin duet

Inca Roads (Dweezil Zappa solo/Aaron Arntz solo)

Exit Napoleon Murphy Brock – Enter Terry Bozzio

I’m So Cute

Tryin’ To Grow A Chin – Punky’s Whips (Dweezil Zappa solo)

Black Page Drum Solo (done as a trio – Terry/Joe/Billy) – (Enter Steve Vai) Black Page #2

Exit Terry Bozzio- Enter Napoleon Murphy Brock

Peaches En Regalia – Montana (Dweezil Zappa/Steve Vai guitar duet) – Village Of The Sun – Echidna’s Arf (Of You)

Zomby Woof (Steve Vai solo)

Black Napkins (Dweezil Zappa and Steve Vai solos)

Encore:
(core band + Napoleon)

Oh No – Son Of Orange County (“Roxy” arrangement) (Dweezil Zappa solo) – (Enter Terry Bozzio and Steve Vai) More Trouble Every Day (“Roxy” arrangement – Steve Vai solo/Dweezil Zappa-Steve Vai duet/Dweezil Zappa-Jamie Kimeduet/Dweezil Zappa-Scheila Gonzalez-Steve Vai trio/Terry Bozzio solo/Joe Travers solo/Terry Bozzio-Joe Travers duet) – A Token Of My Extreme (chord vamp only with Dweezil band introductions) – Sofa (“Zappa In New York” arrangement)

There’s every indication that this band will tour again performing Frank’s music. If you get the chance to see this live I heartily recommend it.

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Jay Lee

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