I was a Frank Zappa fan in college and never got the chance to hear him play live. When I heard that Dweezil Zappa, his son, was on tour with a band re-creating Frank’s music, I was pretty excited to go. I was one of the very few women at the December 19, 2010 show, surprise!
The first thing I learned is that I don’t know much about Frank Zappa beyond Joe’s Garage, There were quite a few unfamiliar songs from other albums including Hot Rats that I will now need to check out.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, Dweezil Zappa doesn’t put on nearly the show that his father used to. While in videos Frank always appeared removed from the audience, funny as hell and snide, Dweezil’s demeanor resembles someone more like David Matthews meets a golden retriever. He’s happy that you came to see his band and comes off as quite pleased with himself. It takes two musicians to perform Frank’s songs, Dweezil on guitar and an additional vocalist, Ben Thomas, to achieve a sound that’s just not anywhere close to Frank’s, in my opinion. When they show images of Frank playing on a screen behind the band it underscores the difference, unfortunately, in my opinion, this is just another cover band, and not a great one.
There was a great performance by Scheila Gonzalez on saxophone, flute, keyboards & vocals. She really rocks out.
For some reason, this show got amazing reviews, 5 stars on Ticket Master. Next time I’d rather have a listening party to an old Frank Zappa album then see Dweezil perform. I left mid-show.