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MUSIC: Zappa Plays Zappa Gets Weird At Lupo’s

Friday, September 06, 2013

 

Dweezil Zappa, the son of the late music icon Frank Zappa took to the Lupo's stage Tuesday to take concertgoers back to the '70s.

I have a confession to make. I'm not into the whole cover band thing. On the other hand, when Frank Zappa's son is playing a bunch of the late great's classics you can't help but go out and indulge your senses in the madness. Dweezil and his band took the stage at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence this past Tuesday to celebrate the music of Frank's legendary live album Roxy & Elsewhere, which next year will be approaching it's 40th anniversary. A crowd ranging from all ages packed the joint and you knew that you were in for a treat right when you walked into the building.

There was a soundcheck that seemed like it would never end, but you can't really blame Dweezil for making a distinct effort to perfect his dad's music. People shuffled in droves to get as close they could to the stage and Dweezil's band started getting freaky. Starting right in order of Roxy & Elsewhere with "Penguin In Bondage", the band hit everything note for note. This wasn't a band playing their improvisation of a studio recording, it was a band reeanacting a live performance of Frank Zappa's from the 1970s. Knowing that brought chills up my spine and it took me a countless amount of times to wrap my head around the fact that Dweezil's band must have rehearsed hours upon hours to get everything right. 

A glimpse into Zappa

Electrifying and heavy riffs coming from Dweezil's guitar and breakdowns that had the trombone and saxophone players talking about high school diplomas combined with gym socks and all sorts of crazy stuff really made the show an entertainingly unique experience. After the classic "My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama", Dweezil told a story about how Frank would show movies in the basement and how Frank loved weird B-movies. Dweezil then talked about how Frank showed the film Brainiac to him as a kid and how taboo it was to watch someone eating brains with a dessert spoon, stuff like this is what became the inspiration for the following number "Cheepnis". 

More amazing guitar technique from Dweezil was abundant throughout the whole night and then the band went into the "Be-Bop Tango (Of The Old Jazzman's Church)", which had the trombone and saxophone player dancing to start the song off. Then Dweezil started randomly selecting members of the audience to dance for the crowd's enjoyment, one of the many lovely parts of the show that had me laughing a bit. Ending the initial performance with what sounded like the theme to the TV Show Entertainment Tonight caught me off guard, but it was just the start of more fun. Dweezil and the band came back out for a wonderful encore that had a roaring sax solo in "The Black Page", another classic in "Montana" then this insane balding guy in a black polo started howling the lead vocals during "Wonderful Wino" and a version of AC/DC's "Back In Black". The finale was another fan favorite in "Muffin Man" and it was a spectacular end to a treasure of a night.

Concerts like this only happen at one place in Providence, and that's Lupo's. Head to lupos.com and find out when's the next show you can't miss.

 

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