DWEEZIL ZAPPA + DUSTIN BOYER @ THE REGENT THEATRE
Photos and recap by Scott Sheff
After spending the last 10 years touring the world playing his father Frank’s music with Zappa Plays Zappa, Dweezil Zappa is back on the road in support of his own music off his latest album Via Zammata’. With the tour just kicking off, Zappa made a brief stop in his hometown for a show at The Regent Theatre before heading back out to points beyond.
While there were no Frank songs played during the night, his influence was evident in the new music and through the sense of humor delivered by Dweezil and his talented bandmates. In between songs while Zappa tuned his guitar, the band continued on by playing snippets of classic retro tunes to bide some, including the theme song to Entertainment Tonight,” “Believe it or Not” (the theme song to the 80’s television show The Greatest American Hero) Glen Frey’s “The Heat is On” and “Oh Yeah” by the band Yello.
One of the big highlights on the night was hearing the only song Zappa ever collaborated on with his father “Dragon Master.” He gave the backstory on writing the song with his father, and how it had a heavy metal feel to it. But the only way to truly capture that feeling was to have it sung by a true heavy metal singer, at which point Shawn Albro, lead vocalist from the hard rock group U.P.O. came onto the stage. With the band shredding away and providing backing vocals, Albro belted out the lyrics to give the song its proper due.
Zappa and company ended the night with a special treat. Well before Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake entertained a television audience with their history of rap medley, Dweezil and his brother Ahmet’s band Z had their own medley back in 1995 that paid tribute to the history of music from the 60’s through the 90’s called “Peavey Medley.”
Flash forward 20 years, Zappa and his band have built upon that early tribute to create their own medley, with a focus on the 80’s. Spanning genres throughout the decade, the band weaved effortlessly and seamlessly between classic songs from the 80’s for a solid 20+ minutes. The song itself is quite impressive and entertaining on its own, but it becomes even more impressive to think about how in sync each member of the band needs to be in order to switch up the arrangement and play through a decade’s worth of songs in 15 second snippets and see it all come together in one glorious monster song to some up a generation of music.
Opening up the night with a solo performance was Dustin Boyer, frontman and guitarist of The Dusty Meadows Band. Boyer showed off his skills on guitar and vocals with each song, and his zany personality in between. At one point, he tried to connect with his mother via FaceTime to let her watch him perform. Unfortunately, Boyer wasn’t able to connect during the song, but let’s hope his mother gets a chance to see him perform live, whether it be in-person or via FaceTime.