Hot Rats and Dweezil Zappa Celebrate 50 Years at London Music Hall

dweezil-zappaA little more than 50 years ago, on Wednesday August 13, 1969, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention played a small pop festival at the now defunct Wonderland Gardens in London Ontario. 2 days later in Woodstock NY there would be a now legendary rock festival featuring some of the biggest names of that era. When Alice Cooper and Dennis Dunaway who were opening for The Mothers that night asked Frank why they weren’t playing the big festival in NY that weekend, Frank said, “Because we don’t want to”.

Fast forward 50 years to London Ontario, September 21 2019, at London Music Hall where Dweezil Zappa, the eldest son of Frank is performing his father’s second solo album Hot Rats in it’s entirety for his Hot Rats Live! Plus Other Hot Stuff 1969 Tour. This tour is a particularly personal one, besides being the 50th anniversary of the Hot Rats release it is also the 50th anniversary of Dweezil’s birth. The Hot Rats album was dedicated to the newborn Dweezil when it was released.

Opening with a recording of an ad for the Hot Rats album from 69 and the instrumental Phiniox from the posthumously released Joe’s Camouflage, the band then launched into the first song from Hot Rat’s, Peaches en Regalia. The group of musicians Zappa has assembled is a stellar group, led by Grammy winner Scheila Gonzalez on sax, flute, keys and vocals, who has been with Zappa since the first Zappa Plays Zappa project in 2006. Gonzalez showed how great a musician she is from the get go, jumping from sax to flute to keyboard on Peaches seamlessly, impressing the near capacity crowd and getting a loud ovation.  The band does an outstanding job replicating the sound and feel of a Frank Zappa show. Other band members include Adam Minkoff, lead vocals, guitar, keys and percussion, Cian Coey, lead vocals and percussion, Ryan Brown, vocals and drums, Kurt Morgan, bass and vocals, and Chris Norton, keys and vocals.

Besides the Hot Rats album, the band played a diverse selection of songs spanning Frank’s entire career both solo and with The Mothers of Invention. Of the 21 other songs played, only a couple were more widely recognized radio friendly tunes, Dirty Love and Cosmik Debris. The crowd didn’t seem to mind though; in fact they seemed to be of a more hardcore group of fans and appreciated the deeper cuts. This is a band that loves to play and everyone gets a chance to shine. Adam Minkoff was great on lead vocals, keys and rhythm guitar as was vocalist Cian Coey who has sung for Meatloaf. One of the funnier moments occurred during Cosmik Debris when Gonzalez performed a sax piece and sang in the voice of Cartman from South Park.

Following a break during which Zappa will be performing with the Experience Hendrix Tour in the U.S., the Hot Rats Tour commences again in Europe for a three week run in Western Europe and The U.K.

Dweezil Zappa
London Music Hall
September 21 2019

  • Phyniox (Intro)
  • Peaches En Regaila
  • Willie the Pimp
  • Son of Mr. Green Jeans
  • Little Umbrellas
  • The Gumbo Variations
  • It Must Be a Camel
  • Tryin’ to Grow a Chin
  • Reeny Ra
  • Would You Go All the way?
  • Dirty Love
  • What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?
  • Bwana Dik
  • Lumpy Gravy
  • Village of the Sun
  • Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
  • Bamboozled by Love
  • Brown Moses
  • Dumb All Over
  • Heavenly Bank Account
  • I’m a Beautiful Guy
  • Beauty Knows No Pain
  • Charlie’s Enormous Mouth
  • Any Downers?
  • Carolina Hard-Core Ecstasy

Encores

  • Cosmik Debris
  • Penis Dimension
  • Tears Began to Fall

 

Photo: www.dweezilzappa.com