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Zappa Plays Zappa & Return To Forever

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moshkito View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 26 2011 at 15:15
Hi,
 
Review of the show in Eugene, Oregon on Sept 23rd,2011
 
(List from the web, but it was fairly close)(Minor correction -- JLP did play on a few shows, but not this one)
 
Zappa Plays Zappa:
 
Pojama People
Don't You Ever Wash That Thing?
Dancin' Fool
Fifty-Fifty
Cosmik Debris
Big Swifty
King Kong
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
Nanook Rubs It
St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast
Rollo
 
Return to Forever IV:
 
Medieval Overture
Senor Mouse
Sorceress / Shadow of Lo
Renaissance
After the Cosmic Rain
Romantic Warrior
Spain
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, that 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.
 
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!
 
Who wanted it more, and who wanted to play better and stay tighter? ... you got it ... it wasn't ZPZ, it was RTF. And who played it better? .. the ones that believed in their music, or ...??? ... that is the difference, and I'm not sure that Dweezil stood up this time.


Edited by moshkito - October 20 2011 at 16:10
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Failcore View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Failcore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2011 at 17:13
Wow, RTF played the exact same set list in Nashville Aug. 22nd, if I'm not mistaken.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote frippism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 09:40
I saw RTF sometime in August, it was pretty good, but they had a 25 minute version of Romantic Warrior with solos by EVERYBODY and it was bloody exhausting. The rest was pretty great- the chops are still there.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 15:11
I saw the thread title and thought:  Dweezil playing Frank isn't good enough for him, now he's got to do Return To Forever?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fox On The Rocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 03 2011 at 19:38
Great setlists from both! Although Dweezil and Co. should have ended the set with Inca Roads!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2011 at 15:21
Originally posted by frippism

I saw RTF sometime in August, it was pretty good, but they had a 25 minute version of Romantic Warrior with solos by EVERYBODY and it was bloody exhausting. The rest was pretty great- the chops are still there.
 
It was definitly the highlight of the night for me, with Stanley clapping on the double bass and tapping everywhere ... and still be on time for that one note.
 
You know what is funny? ... watch "Baby Snakes" ... and that is what Frank was doing and allowing everyone to do ... but ZPZ does not see that or understand that, and that leaves them open to become a 2nd rate tribute band simply playing someone else's music ... and of course, you can not make an impression based on that. "BS" is very exhausting, almost for the same reasons you explain! ... but none of us is going to sit here and say ... that it did not have some awesome musicianship. Even if you get tired of a drummer's face expressions! He's still hitting them things!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2011 at 15:35
I must disagree with the perceptions of ZPZ.  I saw them open for Dream Theater two years ago, and the sort (1 hour) set seemed very mechanical.  Everything was played almost exactly as you hear it on the albums.
 
Then I saw them by themselves last year, and the band was much more loose, adding their own eyebrows to the songs.  I spoke with Dweezil for a moment after the show, and mentioned that, and he said that as they get more comfortable with the music, they are taking more liberties.
 
This year they were simply outstanding.  Long extended solos for each player.  Lots of eyebrows. And an amazingly great concert. 
 
I think the difference is in playing as a headliner, where they don't have to worry about performing in front of another band's audience.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote frippism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2011 at 02:15
I saw ZPZ last year too in Tel Aviv and enjoyed it greatly. The opening with Inca Roads made the whole night worth it honestly, but there was a badass version of Big Swifty, Blessed Relief and many others.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote himtroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 12:14
I agree that they've started taking more liberties with the music, but it still bugged the hell out of me when Dweezil came up and played Pojama People's solo (as well as many others )note for note.....why?  This was on the current/most recent tour 

Edited by himtroy - November 04 2011 at 12:15
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 14:02
Originally posted by himtroy

I agree that they've started taking more liberties with the music, but it still bugged the hell out of me when Dweezil came up and played Pojama People's solo (as well as many others )note for note.....why?  This was on the current/most recent tour 
When I saw ZPZ this summer, on Po'Jama People, Dweezil started with Franks sole, but branched out at the end.
 
FZ never played this one live, so maybe Dweezil wanted to perform it as recorded for a while.
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