Great Googly Moogly – what a show!
Being 30 I had never had the pleasure of being anywhere close to Zappa music being played in public before, so Friday night was basically a heavenly vision Hassan-i-Sabbah could have concocted for me to compell me to join his assassins – and it would have worked.
The show started with a half-hour film of the Roxy lineup of the Mothers (my favourite lineup) doing their thing, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy, Ruth Underwood in particular got a big reaction everytime she was presented on the screen, as was Napoleon Murphy Brock, who we found out would not be able to attend our performance; it was very dissapointing initially, but the band was so fantastic and tight you would never know you were missing any element if you hadn’t been told. What amazed me was how young the band was for the most part – none of them looked older than me, except Dweezil slightly, and obviously Steve Vai and Terry Bozzio . . . actually to tell you the truth, from where I sat Steve and Terry looked pretty fucking good too.
Anyway, the show . . . it was amazing. The technical prowess the musicians have was beyond shocking. There were several times that I could have closed my eyes and pretended it was the genuine Mothers circa 1974 . . . Dweezil informed us early on that since Napoleon was absent we would be treated to a completely different show than had been performed on the rest of the tour – I don’t know if that is actually true, but it certainly felt like it. A jaunty version of King Kong surprised me early on, and the whip-cracking rendition of Inca Roads later brought down the house, as did Terry Bozzio on absolutely everything he did, the man must be plugged into a power source when off stage.
The only part where I was distracted enough to wonder why a song was missed was when they leap-frogged Nanook Rubs it when they played Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow and then went straight on to St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast – one wonders if it was considered too delicate for Canadian Seal Smashers?
Before I finish up, I would like give special kudos to Sheila Gonzalez for performing lead vocals as well as playing sax and flute, and also to Joe Travers for singing Franks’s parts almost exactly like Frank while at the same time playing drums – no easy feat.
The set list, to the best of my memory:
-Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow
-St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast
-Village Of The Sun
-I’m So Cute
-Pound For A Brown
-Tryin To Grow A Chin
-Peaches En Regalia
-Trouble Every Day
-Tush Tush Tush (A Token Of My Extreme instrumental)