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1982 Reviews

page two


May 28th, 1982

A four-night layoff following the disastrous Kiel show doesn't seem to have hurt FZ or the band. As it happens, this show is the source of one of the all-time pinnacles of instant composition in FZ's second Drowning Witch solo, released as St. Etienne on Jazz From Hell. The rest of the night doesn't suffer in comparison, either.

The show starts on a strange note with another Outside Now vamp appearance, this time as the show opener. FZ's solo fades in, but presumably there are no vocals. Unfortunately, the sound is unstable at this point, making it difficult to appreciate the solo fully. FZ's guitar stings as usual for '82 for Easy Meat, but it's especially notable when he lays into some quiet sustained notes with the keyboards filling in the slack, anticipating the introspection to come. Chad's drumming also stands out, sounding especially fluent tonight. City Of Tiny Lites finds FZ experimenting with a quiet approach (as he would on the YCDTOSA 5 solo, from two nights later), his last variation on this song before settling into the pro forma solos of 84/88. Pound For A Brown again has Bobby (sounding very Tommy-ish) and FZ as the soloists, with FZ playing over the G reggae vamp and producing a very agitated solo.

The second solo on Drowning Witch everyone knows, but the first one is most bizarre. FZ's ditched the 9/8 vamp, replacing it with practically nothing - just a bass drone and random rhythm section fills under the solo, no apparent meter. He gets introspective and quiet again on the second chorus of the Bamboozled solo (it's a bit incongruous when Bobby kicks in again with the bridge), while Young & Monde resembles the As An Am version, minus loops.

FZ offers no joking or secret words tonight (nothing but some "hoo hahs" in the "grandma" part of Tinseltown), but there's also no "don't throw things" interruptions, and he seems to be in a good mood. Every solo gets an inspired treatment.

I would propose this as a vault release, but since Scott's bass apparently didn't make it to the official tape, the flawed but listenable audience recording will have to suffice.


May 29th, 1982

By now I don't need to go into massive details, you all know what we've got here. A nice, solid 1982 show, with good sound, lots of solos, and the tightest band in show business. So, what are the highlights?

Zoot Allures has a wonderful solo, and hasn't settled into the tired patterns it would gain in 1984. Frank is not especially happy with the venue. "Welcome to the tiniest, shittiest bullring in the world!" He also comments on the building standing for 2000 years due to it being built with non-union labor, which gets a nice round of applause.

Sofa reminds you what a good tape this is - very clear, and Chad's drums are up front in the mix, which is a good thing as he makes several of the songs tonight. Dancin' Fool is also more interesting than usual thanks to some quick bull-riding secret wordage. RDNZL is almost carried entirely by Chad.

First highlight - what I think may be the only post-1981 Baltimore that is an instrumental. No vocals here, just Frank's guitar, and the solo is scorching. King Kong finds Tommy starting slow, but turning in a commendable effort once he moves to synths. This tape DOES have several annoying cuts, its one flaw -
Zomby Woof's solo is cut, and we cut into the middle of Frank's KK solo, which manages to impress anyway.

Sharleena was never better than it was in 1982, and this is a terrific one. "Where'd she go?" "Watts." Interestingly, there were very few triggered loops on this show, Frank seeming to be content with the backing of the band. But for Black Page, he makes up for it with a string of loop-filled madness, with
inspired bass work from Thunes. Frank almost makes the loops the solo here, with his own guitar being somewhat drowned out.

Standard concert after this, but there are several interesting highlights, and the good sound makes this show a keeper.


May 30th, 1982

After an interesting deviation yesterday, Frank once again decides to use Zoot Allures as show-opener. The result can be heard on YCTDOSA #3, one of those excellent solos that has made me reevaluate my
conviction that 1975/76 was the best tour for Zoots. After some rather amusing intro talk from FZ, the band serves us a long string of crowd pleasers (Hearts/Montana/Meat/Brown/Garage/Pee). The only thing of interest here is Frank's Easy Meat solo, a rather laid-back affair, nicely interspersed with some aggressive outbursts - great!

One more solo from this show was released - the one in City Of Tiny Lights, which showed up on YCDTOSA #5. I like this solo - from its first quirkily melodic line, it works its way through an interesting landscape of melodies, often seeming to build in intensity, but Frank manages to stay
unusually low-key throughout. Pound For A Brown brings two long solos, one from Bobby and one from Frank. Bobby has found a nice electric organ sound on his synth, and delivers a pretty good solo, with a long scatting/singing along section. Frank's solo is really good, dense and intense, and quite funky in a Zappy way.

For Bamboozled By Love, FZ once again shows his more thoughtful, calm side, with an odd (but cool!) solo. By now, we begin to wonder whether Frank is having a low-key evening or if he's been saving energy
for something. The answer comes in a monstrous Young & Monde, where FZ releases most of the pressure he's been building up - for 7 1/2 minutes, he makes his guitar scream with pain and agony, using his whole bag of tricks; feedback, whammy-bar, loops, and those twisted little melodies no one else could have thought of. Excellent!

Unfortunately, it's pretty much downhill from here - a long string of songs that are good, but lack solos or any other deviations. We get one more solo, a very good one, in the show-closing Enema Bandit. But with
Frank in a great soloing shape, the number of guitar solos (7) is a little disappointment. His playing is unusually nuanced tonight, and it would be interesting to hear what a Sinister Footwear, a Sharleena or a Clownz would sound like. Still, a very good show on a very good-sounding tape. Being rather sparsely circulated, I would call this tape one of the hidden gems of this tour.


June 2nd, 1982

More than anything else, this tape serves as a reminder of how ugly an outdoors audience recording might become, and how lucky we should be to have so many good sounding tapes from those free-air 1982 concerts. This is one of (if not THE) worst sounding tapes I have, one that takes a whole lot of concentration as well as a good imagination, as your brain has to extrapolate a lot of music that's hidden in this sonic mess. Luckily enough, the only instrument that's somewhat discernable is Frank's lead guitar.

The Black Page solo is an exception, though - FZ moves a lot in his lowest register and uses some loops, and the end result is mostly a blur (although the audible parts lead me to believe that it was a good solo). The solos in Truck Driver Divorce and Zomby Woof are both definitely good, though, and the long King Kong solo (rather straight R&R with some cool deviations into different modes) is the highlight of the night.

In Sharleena (which seems to have a great solo), FZ exclaims "Marqueson's Chicken" in the second fill-in-the-blank space, foreboding the world premiere of said piece, which opens the short encore section (*). From what I can hear, it's an impressive WP for such a complex song, though the solo seems a bit lackluster. Interestingly enough, after the return to the head, there's a short solo spot for Tommy before they return to the head again. I don't think I've heard this in any other version, though I wouldn't be surprised if I'm proven wrong somewhere below.

This was the first, and possibly the last time I listened to this show in its entirety. Completists only.

(*) This surprised me a little, as I've been told that the chicken incident happened at the Bremen concert, which took place a week after this show.



June 3rd, 1982

This is, sadly, merely a 6-7 minute excerpt from the show, containing What's  New in Baltimore? and Moggio. Still, both songs are played well, with a tasty little solo in Baltimore, so it's a good excerpt to ask for as filler.


June 5th, 1982

This show finds FZ at a festival "out in the weeds on a very hot day," according to my info sources. He acknowledges this in the intros, telling the topless ladies in the audience to be sure that everyone in the band can see them. He points out that Ed and Scott need to see it a lot, Bobby isn't too interested, and "Steve Vai has already seen it" - more clues for inquiring minds.

Jokes aside, this is a rocking set. FZ's guitar has an especially sharp, barbed-wire tone, and it shrieks in every solo, though a lot of them seem to peter out rather than end. (Maybe that's why he didn't release anything from this date.) In particular, he, Chad and Scott do some outrageous things in Black Page. It sounds like he's in a good mood, although there's a down note when he interrupts Tommy's RDNZL solo, just as he and the rhythm section are really cooking, with another "if you throw anything else on stage" announcement.

The setlist offers mostly familiar 82 fare, but Stinkfoot makes a rare appearance, and the band gets into it enough to make me think I could have enjoyed it on a regular basis this tour. There's also one of the first Marqueson's, with the solo section a bit slower than the album version (from two weeks later). King Kong is similar to YCDTOSA 3 if you omit Ed's solo and the '71 material, going straight from the theme into free jazz land with Tommy's solo (two Tommy solos in one night - rare), including a Love Supreme quote. (FZ works this same motive into the Black Page solo - interesting for this professed non-fan of jazz.) FZ gets in a nice long solo over the new E-flat vamp.

Decent sound, strong performance, good setlist - get this if you like 82.



June 6th, 1982

Another episode in the ups and downs of 82, this dispensible piece of FZ history is nonethless rather well-circulated. This festival appearance starts with a rare opener without a solo or band intro (Sofa), followed by Montana (which FZ interrupts at the start - "Don't throw things"), and then Easy Meat. By the end of the first classical section, it's obvious listening to the tape that there's a major downpour, and FZ ends the show at this point. The most memorable part of the tape is the fan shouting "Ah, Scheisse!" at the end.

Don't worry, Mannheim FZ fans - six years later, FZ would go a long way to make up for this.


June 8th, 1982

First Question: Is it me, or does "Zoot Allures" pack a punch on this tour rivaled nowhere else in the annuls of Zappa Opening Song history? Fall '78 may have had some crazier opening solos, and the avant-garde madness of late '71's opening "jams" will forever occupy a special place in my heart, but from start to finish, the 1982 "Zoot Allures" do something to me that no other opening number does. The tight power of the main theme, the slow escalation towards the solo, the breath of fresh air that runs through the opening bars of the vast solo space, and the always intriguing sometimes outrageous solos- all of this combines into a force that satisfies me completely only 8 minutes into a show. What other Opening Song so consistently does that?

This show opens with "Zoot Allures"- obviously- which already puts this tape in the plus column. A pretty straightforward solo, but tasty nonetheless. A somewhat rare but very welcome "Stinkfoot" follows song #2 "Sofa", and while I find the actual song to sound somewhat rushed by this band, the "Stinkfoot" solo is perfect. The simple blues vamp coupled with Frank's aggressive attack makes an inspired pairing, and the solo builds nicely to a "rock 'n' roll" climax. "Easy Meat"is a huge disappointment, containing one of the lamest solos of the tour, but all is forgiven with the segue into "Dead Girls of London"- one of my all-time favorites. A surprise "Drowning Witch" follows (no "Shall We Take Ourselves Seriously?"- a jarring moment) and Frank seems intent on making amends for his "Easy Meat" lameness. The first solo is the highlight of the night- a walking bass line sets up a relaxed jazz atmosphere that Frank's completely rips to shreds, or at least tries to. Frank stabs six-string daggers all over Thunes' patient playing, and while Wackerman gives into the madness and follows Frank down the violent path, Thunes remains calm and steady, and underscores Frank's solo with some wonderfully contrasting playing. The second solo finds everyone returning to your typical aggressive '82 mode, and while no motifs or phrases particularly stand out, the solo pleases.

From here on out, Frank hits standard '82 overdrive, failing to produce any more solos as interesting as "Stinkfoot" or DW#1. "Let's Move to Cleveland" comes close, thanks to a lengthy "Inca Roads" quote early in the solo. After approximately a minute of stagnant riffing, Frank slows things down and eases into the "Holiday in Berlin/Inca Roads" theme. As he finishes the final notes, the band maintains the steady, '70 "Holiday in Berlin" groove, and prospects look good for one of those slowly building, inspirational solos. But Frank wants no part of this, and returns to his frenzied playing, and from here on out the solo treads the same old waters.

The Monster of the evening- "King Kong"- finds the Mann-Mars-Zappa trio strutting their stuff, with Frank once again disappointing with a lame and rather short solo. Mars' solo is easily the best of the three, but still nothing special. The encores fail to ignite any fires under this slowly dying show, with the final encore "Advance Romance" being the oddest and perhaps lamest choice of encores ever.

This is not a bad show by any stretch of the imagination, but it does find Frank walking down some of the same guitar paths he explores throughout the '82 tour. The show satisfies, but fails to exceed any of the high expectations that have been raised by this point in the tour. Get it and enjoy, but do not expect greatness.


June 9th, 1982

Frank + Germany was a charged and unpredictable combination this tour. So far, it's spawned some magic shows as well as some fiascos, and I had really no idea what to expect when I put my tape into the deck this time.

The opening is hot - FZ shows that his fingers are itching by starting his Zoot Allures a little earlier than usual. Oddly enough, he seems to stay out of phase with the rest of the band for quite a while, creating lots of cool rhythmic tension. A long and excellent solo (with great support from Chad & Scott), although it loses in intensity near the end. He proceeds by greeting us welcome to an "ugly building in a boring town", and that he's pleased to announce that it's their last European tour ever. Still, it doesn't sound like the "I'm-pissed-'n-bored" Frank we heard in Kiel - it's the "I'm-angry-and-I'm-gonna-abuse-my-guitar" Frank from Cologne.

After Sofa, it's time for the first of tonight's three surprises. Not only is this an unusual place in the set for The Closer You Are/Johnny Darling, but they're played in a style I haven't heard anywhere else - a steady 4/4 beat, with a bouncy backbeat, which makes them sound a lot like Nite Owl. It makes for a smooth transition into the following song, Fine Girl, which nowadays leads us into Zomby Woof. Frank's solo is wonderfully nasty.

The hour that follows is a massive guitar tour-de-force. It starts in King Kong; as usual, Ed goes first to solo, followed by Tommy. This solo, with it's great speedy-jazz backdrop brings back sweet memories of winter '78, and when Tommy plays a long Uncle Meat quote, it's like we're back to Paris, 2/7/78. And it gets even better, as FZ steps into the spotlight to deliver a little epic, which turns out to be the show's highlight. More patient than in his other solos, he starts with some rather calm, restrained lines. He builds up the intensity slowly, and reaches a long climax where he really shows how great his technique was (and how much of an influence Steve Vai was on him) this tour. Some intricate tapping lines are mixed with angry flurries of notes

Next, Sharleena, with an emotional solo, followed by the almost inseparable Turning Again/Alien Orifice. Frank's AO solo is good, but the fixed length prevents it from becoming really interesting. Stevie's Spanking spawns some more great guitar mangling. Vai's solo (with a long nice Inca Roads quote) is the better of the two, though the highlight is the dense guitar chaos at the very end of the solo section, where Chad freaks out too.

Doreen gives us a healthy dose of Ray White, and the Goblin Girl/Black Page segue is one of my favourites ever. It feels like we're almost getting an overdose of reggae/backbeat numbers (8 of the first 14 songs!), but this is soon forgotten as we hear Frank's and Chad's awesome, aggressive outbursts in BP. Somehow, they manage to save a lot of energy for the next solo, in RDNZL. The regular set closes with Advance Romance, and FZ manages to produce yet another interesting solo, this time over a very monotonous (yet effective) vamp.

The encores are interesting: apparently some people in the audience have been craving Titties 'n Beer, and Frank decides to grant them. The song sounds well-rehearsed, and I think it's Steve who plays the role of
the Devil. No improvised section, though. The second set of encores begins with Clownz On Velvet, in its second performance ever (decent solo), and continues with the world premiere of Ride My Face To Chicago. I really like this version of RMFTC, although it's rather skeletal. It's got a nice & slow boogie beat, and a bluesy solo by FZ.

An excellent show, and a must for fans of FZ's guitar playing.


June 10th, 1982

For some unknown reason, I sat down to listen to this tape with less than good expectations, associating this date and this tape with a lackluster show. Boy, was I ever wrong. From start to finish, this may be one of the most interesting, enjoyable, and filled-with-guitar-goodness shows that Frank played.

The show begins with the World Premiere of "The Mammy Anthem". Played at a noticeably faster pace, the song has a more frantic feel, losing some of the calm power that the later versions would convey. Frank's solo, however, is a masterful example of restraint, with Frank employing a variety of bends, feedback, and string scrapes- mixed amongst the incomprehensibly quick runs- to create an intense atmosphere of unreleased tension dying to escape. Contrasted with the unfamiliarly frantic body, Frank's solo redeems the rawness of this Premiere Performance and makes me wish the later versions retained this overeager exuberance.

A strong set list keeps the early going interesting, with "Sofa", "Broken Hearts are for Assholes" and "Clowns on Velvet" coming next. The latter's solo is the second great solo of the night, with Frank once again providing a variety of textures throughout the solo, and winding things up with (dare I say it) an uplifting and lyrical conclusion. "Sinister Footwear II" keeps the hits coming with great solo #3, another very textured affair, but with a little more of the "Sinister Footwear II" intensity we have come to expect. "Stevie's Spanking" finds Bobby changing the lyrics to tell about somebody's laundry, and concludes with the typical but always enjoyable metal fest. "Cocaine Biz" threatens to ruin the early buzz, but both of these performances have much more life than they would in '84, and keep the interest levels high. "Truckdriver Divorce" delivers great solo #4- a bona-fide Zappa tour-de-force. The first third of the solo covers your typical '82 ground, with Frank exploring a variety of themes but not finding anything special. The song appears to be ending as the rhythm section quiets down and Frank stops playing, but Frank starts in with some upbeat, jazzy chords. The rhythm section eases back to life, and the solo bounces along into lite funk/jazz territory. This goes on for a surprisingly long time, before Frank decides to get down and dirty again with some hard blues. Frank, of course, is unable to stick with any one train of thought for long, but the rhythm section locks into a hard blues jam and rides this out to the final notes of the solo.

Great solo #5 resides in the "City of Tiny Lites", and it is in moments like this that this song has earned a name for being a great guitar solo vehicle. This performance contains one of those definitive solos. "Pound for a Brown" follows up with a Ray White solo, a Bobby Martin solo (!) with scat and vocals (!!), and an FZ solo that is simply awesome. Great solo #6. This is a sucker that builds and builds and builds and reaches an exhilarating peak, only to be kicked into higher gear by a Wackerman drum roll that thrusts all gears into high. Once again suppressing the manic energy that characterizes the solos from this tour, Frank slowly urges the jam into funk territory, with Mars providing some truly danceable keyboard support underneath.

Great solo #7 comes in "RDNZL", and amazingly enough, Frank manages to contrast the contagious energy of the previous solo with another restrained and methodical solo. Again, both Mars and Wackerman contribute some inspired playing. "Advance Romance" closes the main set, and it is here where Frank finally unleashes the energy that he has been teasing us with all night, and this cathartic release combined with the chain-gang poundings of the rhythm section lift this usually predictable song to greater heights.

Tonight's encores provide one of the nicer set of '82 encores, with "Fine Girl", "Zomby Woof", and "Marqueson's Chicken" all making appearances. "Marqueson's Chicken" is an excellent over-the-top workout, but "Zomby Woof" is the highlight of the encores. Another all-over-the-map solo, this effort concludes with a hailstorm of noise that somehow manages to come across as carefully composed music. Frank is at his best here.

What more can I say? I love this show.


June 11th, 1982 late

We're now in the part of the tour where Zoot Allures and The Mammy Anthem (or "Born To Suck" as it was called at this time) seem to fight about the prestigious opening slot. And ZA, maybe realizing it's about to lose, really shows itself from it's best side these days. Frank seems really focused for the first part of his solo here, and though he loses a bit of it towards the end, this is an excellent solo. After the usual Frankfurt-chatter ("Hello G.I's!") and '82-talk ("...our last concert in Frankfurt ever..."), the band kicks off with some Greatest Hits - Sofa and Joe's/Pee, to the audience's delight.

Next, Clownz On Velvet, a nice song which also is great to hear just for its rarity. And here we get a really good solo too - after an insecure start where Frank seems to try to "feel" the chords, he produces one of the better chapters in this song's short history. Zomby Woof has a less memorable solo, with a T'Mershi Duween quote being the only thing that stands out. King Kong follows the usual pattern, with Ed and Tommy playing rather dull solos (this wasn't Tommy's best year, if you ask me). The rhythm section really shines here, especially Chad. Frank's solo is a solid one, without any surprises. The same can be said about Bamboozled, though it annoys me that I can't identify that little quote FZ plays near the end of his solo.

The solo in Young & Monde is more interesting. Zappa begins with a rather long section of sad, weeping tones, produced with his excellent controlled feedback technique and the whammy bar. The latter is also
used to great effect in section two, which consists mostly of chords, also very sad-sounding. You would expect Frank to turn this solo into a frenzy towards the end, but instead he switches to a cleaner sound and
delivers a rather calm 3rd section. A different Y&M solo, very moody.

Frank comes two interesting vocal interjections in Tinseltown Rebellion; first in the Grandma section: "Hey, what's new in Baltimore? Shaushage! Hey, what's new in Baltimore? Salim-uh!", and later a cool conceptual continuity clue: "Baby Take Your Teeth Out" (this song was reportedly written at a soundcheck this tour, and possibly also performed live once). More good soloing in RDNZL, although Chad and Scott once again outdo Tommy in his solo spot. And in Advance Romance, FZ comes up with some more creative use of the whammy more - this time to produce tones that laugh rather than weep. Good solo, but I'm getting rather tired of the "pumping" vamp.

The encores kick-start with Marqueson's Chicken (cool solo!), before it's time for the more standard end-of-the-show run of songs. The final solo, in Illinois Enema Bandit, is long and quite good. Altogether, a nice tape with good sound (getting gradually better, ending up A-) and enough good playing to make it well worth having.


June 13th, 1982

For Zappa fans, Würzburg will forever be associated with Ring Of Fire, because of the spectacular concert there in 1988. Less known is the fact that FZ played another really good concert there 6 years earlier - while not as deranged as the Carl Diem Halle show, this outdoors concert is tight and energetic, with a good setlist and some really fine solos.

Things start out nicely with The Mammy Anthem. Cool solo, where Frank creates many cool sounds with the whammy bar. The band intros are kept to a minimum (except that FZ includes Mike Schiller for some
reason), and the band proceeds with the special song-#2-in-Germany-this-year, Sofa. Montana leads us into Easy Meat, where Frank once again delivers the goods, although it's one of the shortest solos I've heard in this song. Intense, technically impressive and musically expressive.

The set continues along the YCDTOSA5 lines for quite a while. What's New In Baltimore? comes with another great solo, and FZ tells us the worst thing about rainy outdoors concerts: there aren't as many tits visible as at the sunny shows. RDNZL continues to kick ass - one of Frank's best songs, played amazingly well, topped off with two great solos by Frank and Tommy. A more surprising highlight is Advance
Romance, with perhaps the best solo of the show to far. Almost a painful listen - actually, I couldn't help but feeling sorry for Frank's guitar, which really seems to be in agony under his violent attacks.

After an intense Broken Hearts, it's Marqueson's Chicken. The theme is excellently performed as always, but the solo starts out a little lackluster. FZ struggles, and the solo gets gradually better. The final section is
brilliant, abruptly ending with an evil sustained feedback note. Another fine solo in Bamboozled, and the expectations on Young & Monde are now quite high. And Frank's opening is excellent - a melody that
probably could have been beautiful, but they are delivered in a really sick-sounding way. The solo continues with some more cool lines, more interesting for FZ's technique than the actual notes. Unfortunately, Frank hits auto-pilot after a while, and the second half of the solo ain't too exciting.

And well, the rest of the show also suffers from the auto-pilot syndrome -your typical, near-the-end and encore numbers, with no solo vehicles until the closing Enema Bandit. The final solo is great though, with Frank mangling out some of the same sick notes we heard in Advance Romance and Monde. We also get some secret word usage - G.I's and "take your teeth out, girl" - towards the end of the show.All in all, a very satisfying concert, in very satisfying sound. This tape should be much more circulated than it is!

June 15th, 1982

Despite some less-than-spectacular sound quality, and a rather slow and uninteresting start, this show managed to keep me entertained for most of its two-hour duration, and produced some of the most upbeat guitar playing of the tour. There are some spectacular guitar "jams" contained within this show, no doubt; I just wish they could be heard in clearer and more tolerable sound.

The opening "Mammy Anthem" left me cold, and the second song placement of "Sofa" continued to puzzle me, which coupled with the poor sound, made my early spirits low. "Doreen" and "Goblin Girl" seem to come just a little too early, and by the time "The Black Page" entered solo territory, I had little hope for the show. The solo is a good one, though- textbook '82 "Black Page". Frank stays strictly within the vamp early on, using the repetitive pounding of the rhythm section to slowly build intensity. He gradually picks up speed and aggression, culminating the solo in a frenzy of chords, loops, and metallic noise. The solo is rather short, and thus somewhat unsatisfying, but interest is peaked for the first time tonight.

"Cocaine Nig Disco Wind" threatens to kill the early potential, but thankfully, "Truckdriver Divorce" delivers a second strong solo. Sounding more like an upbeat "Zoot Allures" solo than a TDD experimental foray, Frank's effort bounces along nicely, culminating in a strong finish thanks to Thunes and his best funky O'Hearn imitation.

This sets the stage for "Drowning Witch", which contains two brilliant but very similar solos. Both of them center around a jazzy, upbeat walking bass line, which gives both efforts a much more uplifting feel than usual. The first of the two begins rather abstractly, with Frank painting broad strokes of noise across Thunes' strolling canvas, before Frank gets swept up and carried away towards more straightforward territory. The second solo essentially picks up where the other leaves off, with Frank's playing displaying more frequent bursts of aggression as the solo progresses, but never crossing the line into noise. Thunes is outstanding throughout both.

"King Kong" opens with a spacey Mann solo, a nice transition into Mars' standard-for-'82 fare, and an average FZ solo. Nothing grabbed my attention during Frank's no-nonsense solo, other than the rather noisy ending which finds Frank letting loose more than he has done all night.

The encores gives us a decent "Marqueson's Chicken", and concludes with the highlight of the night, "City of Tiny Lights". There are hardly any traces of Carlos Santana in this one, as Frank starts the solo with healthy rock 'n' roll aggression and Thunes quickly directs the jam back towards the jazzy, upbeat mode which succeeded so well early in the show. This pushes the right buttons in Frank, who throws in some excellent whammy-bar use, and some welcome loop-madness similar to that found on "That Ol' G Minor Thing Again". A surprise "extended trick" ending ends the song and helps maintain some of the madness brought up by the solo, finishing the show in strong fashion.

The biggest problem with this tape is the sound. If it were better, I am sure I would have much more praise for the guitar playing, and probably would have found more to interest me in the early going. But even as it is, I found several bright spots amidst the hiss, and managed to thoroughly enjoy several of the solos. Put this tape on your wish list, but concentrate on getting some better sounding tapes first.