Thursday, July 19, 2012

Concert Review: Zappa Plays Zappa at House of Blues

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 8:50 AM


Even though he's best known by the general public for his seemingly silly, and occasionally, obscene songs, Frank Zappa was one of the most innovative musicians and greatest guitar players of the 20th century.

Over the years, he acquired a cult following that remains fiercely loyal to him and his music. Last night at House of Blues, Zappa's son performed his late father’s music for some of those devoted fans.

Zappa Plays Zappa is not only as a tribute to Frank, it's also a means of re-educating audiences about his music. Dweezil spoke at the opening of the show about his desire to have fans recognize the complexity of Frank’s music by performing it live and allowing it to speak for itself.

And that is exactly what Zappa Plays Zappa did.

The band stormed through a highly diverse mix of Zappa tunes during their nearly three-hour set, which included classics like "Muffin Man" and "Orange County Lumber Truck" mixed in with some obscurities.

Mostly they focused on songs that showed off the complexity of Zappa’s music with mind-blowing solos (including the infamously difficult "Black Page" drum solo).

Keeping with Frank's tradition of covering seemingly difficult songs, the band breezed through Van Halen’s "Eruption" with ease.

Throughout the night, it was hard to escape Frank's music. Dweezil shared personal stories about his father and was presented with a handmade painting of Frank created by an audience member.

Zappa Plays Zappa was an evening for fans. Dweezil and the group put their hearts into their performance. They even stuck around for an encore after having to stand onstage for 15 minutes because of an audio problem.

But for many fans in the crowd, the highlight of the night occurred after the show ended. After taking their final bows, Dweezil hopped off the stage and talked to the people hanging around. He disappeared into a crowd of fans, all of them clamoring to tell him he did his old man proud. —Julia Eberle

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