London’s Royal Festival Hall is a historic place, one that’s played home to podcasts about pornography, and in coming weeks, Hillary Clinton herself. This week it hosted Dweezil Zappa’s latest tour project ’50 YEARS OF FRANK: DWEEZIL ZAPPA PLAYS WHATEVER THE F @%K HE WANTS
Son of the 70s jazz-rock legend Frank Zappa, Dweezil is celebrating 50 years of his father’s iconic discography on a tour spanning multiple continents, stopping in some venues his Dad played in previously – including the Royal Festival Hall. Dweezil said it’s special to play somewhere his father did, he says ‘it’s like the music is still here and we’re just adding to it tonight’
They kick it off with some bizarre vocals and a lot of dancing, topped off with some eclectic instruments, joined by the Norwegian Wind Ensemble. The fans are living for it and go wild long before Zappa even takes the stage. His band are on point with one switching between a keyboard, cazoo, saxophone and a microphone in quick succession. And this is after a brief introduction from huge fan Martin Clunes, Doc Martin himself. It’s a unique evening from the outset.
Despite their massive talent, it’s not about the band, it’s about continuing the legacy of Frank Zappa for his adoring fans dressed in tour shirts from days long gone. Dweezil is truly Frank’s son, he is wildly talented on guitar, with jaw dropping solos every couple of songs reminding you that whilst you’re here for his dad, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He is truly a fantastic musician that captivated the attention of the near packed hall.
‘Cruising for Burgers’ let the stage erupt in a cacophony of instruments, ‘Mom + Dad’ had particularly excellent guitar and vocal work. The Dweezil Zappa band ‘Let’s Move to Cleveland’, one they’d never played before, with a rose tucked into the mic stand, the second thrown onto stage that night. Again, a pretty unique experience.
Dweezil even brought up the youngest member of the crowd he could see to join him and play some guitar, and then gave little Milo a shout out later (deservedly, he shredded like no other).
Norwich born band Ida Mae joined Zappa and co. for one of their final songs, after being discovered by Zappa on Instagram. The crowd adored the joint guitar, Zappa and his band created such a fun and welcoming atmosphere for fans old and new, for those who saw Frank at his first gig at the Royal Festival Hall and those as young as future guitarist Milo.
The near three hour set didn’t tire out either the band or audience, all parties looked like they could go on all night, but all good things must come to an end.