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Return to Forever with Zappa Plays Zappa

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Moshkito View Drop Down
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Joined: 15 Aug 2011
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    Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 8:10pm
Review of the show in Eugne, Or on Sept 23rd, 2011. The list of pieces might not be totally accurate and was taken off the net, btw. Also posted on PA.
ZPZ logjam:
Pojama People
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
Dancin' Fool
Cosmik Debris
Big Swifty
King Kong
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
Nanook Rubs It
St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast
RTF IV logjam:
Medieval Overture
Senor Mouse
Sorceress / Shadow of Lo
After the Cosmic Rain
Romantic Warrior
School Days
Honestly, I went to this show in Eugene, OR because I wanted to see ZPZ. RTF was always big enough and all that and we all already knew the musicianship and all that, and I guess that I could tell you that I figured I would see some of the best known names in the old'e fusion thing ...
Well, let me tell you ... that it was no contest, and ZPZ looked like an opening band, and sounded like one! It was however, a nice evening and the music thing was good too, and ZPZ was good ... not as good as the video that brought it out a couple of years ago, but maybe Dweezil is now a bit tired of this, and losing his excitement over it. It is a bitch living for a God and realizing that you can not be as good as the God, isn't it Dweezil?
The highlight of ZPZ's show, might have been a nice version of King Kong with Chick Corea playing the Moog on stage for them ... a bit weird if you ask me, considering that Jean Luc Ponty also played with Frank -- don't think Chick ever did -- but it was not going to happen, and perhaps Dweezil did not want to share the stage with someone that was probably going to blow him out in the first place -- because he certainly stood his ground in the next set with RTF! And that would be a much tougher set of folks and musicians to work with!
All in all, I thought that music itself and the set list was rather nice and was soft enough to not be offensive to the audience and the appreciation to the material showed, and I am one of those folks. It was a fine show, that, sadly, got blown away by a band that has far more energy and care in playing their music, than Dweezil showed with this band ... and maybe Dweezil might consider having some guest guitarists, and he can then conduct and do other fun things on the stage that would help the music get stronger instead of ... just plain rock'n'roll, which might be the issue here with the show ... I always thought that some of Frank's shows on DVD showed that he had some rock'n'roll on it, but he was making some serious fun of it, more than anything else. I felt like ZPZ was not trying to make this music into the r'n'r side of things and less into the musicianship and work itself ... all complete with individual solos, that take away from the music itself. And I seriously ask if the work that Frank put together was about someone showing off their solo skills, which usually it was not, even if it was there ... as you can see with Steve Vai and so many others, it wasn't the solo ... it was about incorporating these people's abilities ... and the old rock'n'roll show off solo is ...boring, stupid and is not a representative of "talent" anymore, and in most cases? ... sad excuse for attention! And Frank used to make fun about all that ... how soon we forget!
All in all, the show gets a B for sentiment, otherwise it would get a C. I love the music and appreciate the musicianship, but there is no excuse for the "tired" attitude in these shows, which take away from a lot of what the music was about in the first place.
And then RTF started their thing. And it didn't take very long to show, why they are so appreciated and have lasted so long ... and why a ZPZ show/band can not get better and develop if they do not learn from this ... in the end, if anything, these folks showed off what master musicians can do TOGETHER that the previous band could not do beforehand. And what a magnificent and powerful show they put on, a veritable showcase and lesson for any musician that believes in their work, and on top of it, knows how to play it even better than the albums possibly could ... as if the wine gets even better with age, for your palate's appreciation.
It is not everyday that you see a show that stands out as well as this one did, and it is an amazing achievement, that the band itself never flinched and just played on, like they were starved and needed the attention ... it was all about the music, and how well they played it, and the professionalism that they displayed was one of the best thigns I have ever seen on any stage in all my years of catching shows, and RTF was not even a favorite band of mine, although I did know and recognize many of the pieces when I heard them, even if I did not know their titles!
Kudos go to Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Jean Luc Ponty ... but it's hard to not appreciate the amazing connection and appreciation for their ability to work together, either on stage or on a studio ... it is not something that you see a whole lot of anywhere today, where the ego of one person usually dominates ... and here? ... they were all on teh same level, and showed it ... and this made for an amazing concert ... for people whose talents and ability deserves to be listed in the annals of music, as incredible masters of the work they do. And with that, all one can say to ZPZ, is ... go back to play that rock'n'roll because they got blown off the stage by a vastly superior bunch of folks that really believed in what they were doing ... not just going through the motions!
Who wanted it more, and who wanted to play better and stay tighter? ... you got it ... it wasn't ZPZ, it was RTF.

Edited by Moshkito - 26 Sep 2011 at 8:18pm
... And then one day, the prophet said that you and I would know what is art ... and real!
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