Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA THE CANYON CLUB 2/19/2012
February 19, 2012
I was a big fan of Dweezil Zappa back during his teenage solo album and MTV years.
I still have an autographed ticket stub from a show he did over twenty years ago back when his dad was still alive.
A few years later after Frank passed, I attended a show for his band (known as “Z”) with his brother, Ahmet. At the end of the show, Dweezil did an instrumental tribute to Frank. Tears rolled down Dweezil’s face as he played some of his dad’s most beautiful music on guitar. Little did I know, a dozen or so years later, he’d be recreating Frank’s music as a real, regular musical production.
I’ve seen Zappa Plays Zappa 5 or 6 times in the last 6 or so years they’ve been together.
I was absolutely blown away the first time I saw them in the summer of 2066 at the Wiltern. Their special guests for the evening included Steve Vai and Terry Bozzio. Terry had just blown out a bicep earlier that week and only played one-handed. It was still phenomenal. And I could tell that both Dweezil and Steve had both reached a new personal level for the playing.
I then saw Zappa Plays Zappa again a few years later, only this time, it was at the Ventura Theater. Unfortunately, the sound wasn’t up to the level of the Wiltern and I didn’t end up enjoying it as much, but I vowed to see them again some other day.
And I happened to see them play the following year as the openers for Dream Theater. That was another incredible show. The addition of the new singer, Ben Thomas, is a great one and this band is better than ever. The musicianship for the band and their set list for this one was great- they played a lot of my personal favorites and Dweezil had a guitar jam with Steve Vai and John Petrucci and Joe Travers did a drum jam with Mike Portnoy. Fun stuff…
Last year, I saw them again at the Greek Theater opening for Return To Forever. They were in top form and it was another great evening of Frank Zappa’s music. Chick Corea came out and jammed with the band. That was awesome. They’ve reached a new level as a band and that was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
When they play a good venue, it’s a show that is not to be missed.
I was ecstatic when I heard they were playing the Canyon. However, I wondered- how such a large band was going to do on a smaller stage like theirs.
I stopped by the Canyon early to meet up with my friend Scott for some food before the show. I happened to hear several great songs during their sound check. They sounded really good. I’ve had “Plastic People” stuck in my head ever since… Scott showed up and we quickly headed out for food to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try and came back in time for the show.
It was packed tonight. A very large crowd was on hand to witness this show. Fortunately, we were able to get some seats in front of the stage (thanks to all the good people at the Canyon), but they were right next to the monitors. I’m deaf right now, but the show was really great, so no regrets. There were many appearances/ guest spots by Allan Holdsworth, who threw down with his wild intervallic playing. Good stuff. People were flipping out.
And we were also treated to the bass playing of Scott Thunes, Scheila Gonzalez also played great and blew away everyone around us. I happened to see Nima- the owner of Agoura Music during the show and was able to offer him our extra seat by the stage. After all the great hook-ups he’s given me, it was the least I could do.
The band tore down the house. Dweezil autographed some set lists after the show, which was way cool…. This was definitely the best show I’ve seen at Canyon in quite a while.. It was a great evening and I left a happy guy as a result.
Autographed set list: