Some reflections from the Zappa/Crimson show last night:
The Zappa Band:
They were insanely tight and played some very challenging material. Even though I spent many years listening to his music, it was the first time I had seen anything Zappa live (I know, I know...)
When I was watching Mike Keneally doing everything at an unbelievable level I suddenly remembered when I got called to do percussion overdubs on one of his records about 8 years ago but was out of town. I thought about that for a while during the show. (Thanks to Kris Myers for that call way back when)
It is so fun and incredible to watch Scott Thunes, and I could listen to Ray White sing all night. I was definitely giddy seeing Robert Martin and thinking back to all the video footage I had seen of him with Zappa.
When they played Peaches en Regalia I turned to Shana and said, "when Chris Siebold was directing the guitar ensemble at Elmhurst College about 15 years ago, they were recording this tune and on the morning of the session the drummer was sick so he called me in a very last minute emergency and I had to sight-read it. I hadn't even really heard the tune that much before that session." I never heard the recording we made. I can't remember if it went well or not!
The sound was great in the Milwaukee Theater.
I was never a huge Crimson person. Not for really any reason specifically, I was just checking out other music when I was really studying stuff early on I loved Discipline but that was about the extent of it.
They played very well. Of course, I've always loved watching Tony Levin play in his various projects (TLB, Peter Gabriel, etc), and Fripp is always dapper and sounded great, Jakko was singing his butt off, and Mel Collins had some very inspired moments.
The drummers - Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, and Jeremy Stacy. WOW. What a concept in drumming. The drummers were downstage, the rest of the band up high and upstage. They came out of the gate with a really fun drum trio piece that set the tone for the night. Obviously, Gavin is one of the most progressively coordinated drummers in the world. His playing was so articulate, exact, and very advanced. Jeremy was playing keys a lot of the time, but when he would move to kit it was no joke. He has a great vibe and great ideas. Pat blew my mind. I mean. WHAT A POCKET! I couldn't stop watching him. The way he moved, the way he expressed himself, the way his drums were tuned. Man. So good.
Here's a little bit of a message between Pat & me:
I recognized one tune from Discipline (I hadn't listened to that album since the early 90s) and didn't know anything else that I heard. The performances were all very tight and impressive and people jumped to their feet after almost every song, so I guess they were playing their "hits." I enjoyed it very much.
There were a lot of notes played. It was fast, tons of crazy time things happening, and very dense. I loved it!
Driving home, we had to re-balance the universe so we listened to Michael Rhodes & Greg Morrow SLAYING the pocket with the World Famous Headliners. They played about as many notes on the entire album as Crimson played in the intro to their first tune. haha! (Seriously. Check them out.)
All in all, I am reminded of how special music is and vast and diverse it can be. It is a magical gift that can truly transform the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of all humans. We are a blessed species. Love everyone and always treat others with kindness.