April 30, 2017

Dweezil Zappa Covers Zappa with Spirit, Talent and Respect

dweezil zappa 50 yrs of frank tour nightmair creative

Dweezil Zappa rocked out the Commodore with an incredible 2 1/2 hour show covering all of Frank Zappas’ greatest hits. I was stunned by the performance, musicality, and respect Dweezil has for his father; you could tell he plays from the heart and his tribute band Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa carries some amazing talent I was fortunate enough to see.

Arriving at the Commodore just after doors open, I head to the right side of the stage and look around – the venue is already decently filled. This is going to be a great show. With an average age of 45-65 in tonight’s audience, me being 22 felt great to appreciate great rock and roll instead of the commercial Pop crap infecting Vancouver a few doors over at one of the other clubs. (won’t mention any names)

Tonight is Dweezil Zappa’s 10th time playing Vancouver according to some of the fans around me. As we chatted, they told me to keep an eye out for Grammy award winning Sax player/singer Scheila Gonzalez and pointed out the many saxophones along with at least 5-6 vintage 1950’s Gibson guitars.

The band came out promptly and starts the show with ‘Help, I’m a Rock’ from The Mother of Invention’s debut 1966 album Freak Out! Great slow start into a trippy psychedelic crescendo of voices sung by all 6 members of the band. Two songs in with ‘Who Are The Brain Police’, and the place was packed. People were on their feet grooving to one of Frank Zappas’ signature doom-style riffs.

‘Doreen’ is next on the set list, and really highlights the backing vocals of singers Cian Coey and Scheila Gonzalez. ‘Apostrophe’ is a 6 minute instrumental masterpiece that features Dweezil Zappa with an unforgettable solo that adds his own personal touch to his father’s song and highlights how amazing he is as a musician in his own right. The song ends with lights on Dweezil playing on his own in a bursting solo.

Other songs that make the set list include ‘Montana’, ‘Zombie Woof’, and ‘Cosmik Debris’ – Dweezil bringing back the 1970’s best music and giving it new life in 2017. Stunning. Special note to David Luther who’s baritone vocals sounded almost identical to Dweezil’s famous father Frank. Nearly every song elicited loud cheers and screams from the crowd as the next song began. ‘Fembot in a Wet T-Shirt’ got the crowd going as  Schiela Gonzalez was suddenly dressed in fake boobs, and what would a Zappa concert be without a short rant about the establishment (and how Corporate interest is trying to use Dweezil for the use of his last name). Zappa shared how he felt not being able to play freely without scrutiny.

The last couple of songs where unforgettable. Dweezil played ‘Black Napkins’, an amazing solo with accompanying vocals in the background. That was it.. the band vacated the stage and the crowd went nuts, chanting for more until the band came out and delivered, playing Zappa’s great ‘Muffin Man’ and an a cappella version of ‘The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing.’ Despite the show being 2 1/2 hours long it was just the right length.  So glad I attended!

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written by Emilio Angel





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