Reviewed by Jan Mellor
Entering the theatre to a crowd wearing Frank Zappa T-shirt’s – all emblazed with the iconic man with the long goatee beard and pointed features, I realised that although Frank Zappa had been dead for nearly 25 years the homage to him still remained and so it continued tonight as Zappa’s gauntlet had been passed to his extremely talented son Dweezil.
I had heard some Zappa stuff in my day, it always was on at late parties so my memory of the songs is a bit hazy(!). So, I sat – not knowing what to expect or hear… The 7-piece band walked casually on stage to a roaring welcome. All dressed casually but with an aura all their own. Throughout the first half they took us back through the catalogue of 60+ albums that Zappa made both during (and after?) his lifetime. The first half enlightened us to a squeaky pink pig, moments of madness, operatic scenes, superb singing and phenomenal playing from on all throughout. As a person that did not know any of the songs, “Cruising”, “Rollo” and “Radio” left me spellbound and remain with me still.
The second half continued in this vein with astonishing performances by all including guitarist Adam, Singer Shohan Cody, drummer Brian Brown and Saxophonist Sheila Gonzalez. The audience were up applauding and screaming after every song, some even danced enthusiastically in the aisles. Dweezil rarely introduced his songs as everyone (bar me it seemed) knew each song by the first note – “Dirty Love”, “Look here brother” and “Don’t waste your time on me” had the theatre rocking and spinning. Three encores and the audience still wanted more – and so did I. I was completely memorised by the awe-inspiring talent on stage – and wow – Dweezil was an absolute amazing guitarist. His father, watching down on this ecstatic crowd would have been very proud.
The whole performance was a sublime piece of excellence from the start. You do not have to have been a Zappa fan to enjoy this amazing music and talent. It is sometime ‘off the wall’ but that is what makes the music unique and iconic. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the evening and would recommend that anyone who enjoys sublime guitar music and amazing skill attends – even just to see what all the fuss has been about over the last 50 years.
Amazing performances by all!
Dweezil Zappa is curently on tour, for more information and tour dates visit www.dweezilzappa.com.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000