Friday, July 27, 2007

My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama...For Buying A Shitty Digital Camera!

Saw Zappa Plays Zappa, featuring Dweezil Zappa and Ray White, at Coney Island's Moonlite Gardens in Cincinnati this past Tuesday night (July 24). This band was INSANE! I was lucky to find a spot very near the front and the sound was incredible. I was very impressed. ZPZ performed many of my favorites during the almost 3 hour set, but while I'm an ardent admirer of Frank's music, I'm not so big a fan as to be able to remember the set list. I'm sure you could find the info if you really wanted to, as there is an ENORMOUS Zappa fan presence on the InterWebs. One particularly cool feature of the show was the couple of times Frank actually JOINED the band via the use of synched-up video, à la Nat King and Natalie Cole doing the "Unforgettable" duet years ago. Remember that? Kind of a big deal back in the technological stone age. Anyway, it was great to see a "virtual" Frank jammin' with family and friends.

The audience demographic was all over the place, featuring many colors of the human spectrum, with ages ranging from the tweens to those who were starting to feel old when the Mothers were still young. The level of diversity didn't surprise me, but the level of utter drunkenness exhibited by the crowd certainly did. The men's room was festooned with empty pints and half-pints, with the occasional bottle of Blue Nun making a welcome concert appearance. (How did they smuggle all this stuff in?) I felt like a lightweight after drinking my three beers. About the show's mid-point, the folks around me started to become pretty loosey-goosey, with their liquor intake producing loudly slurred requests and awkward but sincere dancing. One shit-faced (though very attractive) woman to my right began proclaiming her love for Dweezil, pointing at the stage and yelling, while vigorously performing the hip-hop bounce. I gave her plenty of room to do her thing and enjoyed watching her. People-watching at a show is half the fun. Anyway, I expected a good time would be had by all, but I didn't think I would be attending a booze-soaked Dionysian festival! It got a little crazy.

Below, you'll find some of the pictures that I took at the show. They're really shitty, thanks to the crummy digital camera I borrowed from me mum. I shoulda known that the Argus QuickClix 5150 wasn't gonna provide me with quality images when I had to download the device driver, only to discover that the camera had long ago been discontinued. Mom is still learning that when it comes to technology, you usually get what you pay for. Especially since she won the camera playing a claw machine.

The above shots were taken at the very beginning of the show and depicts Dweezil's initial technical gremlins with a new monitoring system. Soon rectified, the band proceeded to kick ass. Now, normally, I wouldn't even have brought a camera. Unless you're a professional, maybe on the job as a journalist or working for the band, I think you should just leave your camera at home. Next time I will.

Above, guitarist/vocalist and former Frank Zappa sideman Ray White.

And here's the proud Poppa, holding the Gibson SG that Dweezil played for most of the show. A cherished family heirloom, to be sure.

Finally, here's a link to a review of the show from City Beat, Cincinnati's alternative weekly.


Yeah Him said...

No Moon Unit?

J. Sterling Ellison said...

I was under the delusion that Ahmet was gonna perform also. Is he still married to Selma Blair? I wouldn't leave her side if I were her husband, but I think they recently split up. A younger version of myself had an enormous crush on Moon back in her Valley Girl days. I must thank her for leading me to Frank's music. I had always known who he was and had heard the "hits": Yellow Snow, Titties & Beer, Peaches En Regalia, but didn't get "into" him until after hearing Moon Unit. The only former Zappa band member who performed with Dweezil was the great Ray White, on vocals and guitar. I didn't get any good pics of him. Oh well...