There is something about the name Zappa that elicits some sort of innate reaction from me. It’s as if, some sort of beast, uncontrollable by me, leaps out and demands to be reckoned with. It's rare this beast comes out for socialization until Dweezil Zappa comes to my local area to rip the flesh of wanton Zappaphiles, young and old alike.
I got to unleash the beast at Rams Head Live, upfront on Scheila’s side in Baltimore, home of the man himself Frank Zappa. I did not have a chance to visit the Zappa memorial statue and road sign “ Frank Zappa Way” but that is 100% on my bucket list. I anxiously anticipated the bands performance, twiddling my thumbs and fidgeting around. This is one of my favorite bands, not just because I love Frank's music but because the core band members are phenomenal musicians and versatile vocalists. I am always impressed with Scheila and her on stage presence. An atonal, happy birthday to Scheila Gonzalez, Grammy award winner and all around amazing performer; I don't know anyone else who can play keyboards with one hand and sax with the other.
Dweezil is hands-down one of the nastiest/best guitar players I've ever seen live and I have seen many; I would put Dweezil up there with Jimmy Herring, Derek Trucks and even, Steve Vai at virtuoso skill and playing. Dweezil is also a master of improvisation. It was also great to see him take on more vocals and even helped sing a few songs.
I know they are looking for a male vocalist and I recently sent in my audition tape. It would be a dream come true just to sit in with this band and perform any of Frank Zappa's music. This shows setlist was very similar to last year's performance in Richmond, Virginia but I didn't care one bit. I am just happy to hear Zappa music live. The set list included: “Translyvania Boogie,” “Brain Police,” “Inca Roads,” “Meek Shall Inherit Nothing,” “Montana,” Zomby Woof,” “Black Napkins,” “Apostrophe,” “You Are What You Is,” “Doreen,” “Echidnas Arf,” “Keep It Greasy,” a very emotional “Watermelon In Easter Hay” “Cosmik Debris,” City of Tiny Lites,” “Rollo” and “Muffin Man.”
The legacy of this music lives on strong in my heart and soul but it pains me to hear about the ongoing battle and lawsuits Dweezil is forced to continue. In all honesty, it truly comes down to “who” is the legacy? Who can take this music out and give it to the world? The only person is Dweezil, the only answer to that is, Dweezil. Let that speak for itself. You can help support Dweezil by contributing to his campaign here: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/othersofintention
The real treat was getting to meet with band again after the show. Dweezil will continue to be one of my favorite live acts; hell, he's even one of my top artist on Fans.com. Time will tell what will happen with the lawsuit but I know that the Dweez will come out on top because he is the right person to continue this legacy.
“Arf” She Said,
Jam Band Purist
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.