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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
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
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.
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
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.
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 -
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.
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.
(*) 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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)
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.