Zappa Plays Zappa | 8.2.08 Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT :: Show Review

Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT was the place to be tonight. If you were there, and closed your eyes, it would have been easy to forget which generation of Zappa you were listening to. Dweezil and the gang put on one heck of a show.

The band took the stage at 9:01, causing a roaring crowd to come alive. The band took off with “Treacherous Cretins.” Song after song they kept pulling out tunes and executing the flawlessly. One of the best parts was the obvious fact that everyone on stage was having the time of their life. I think it’s safe to say that the audience was feeling the same way.


Treacherous Cretins
City of Tiny Lights
Yellow Snow
St. Alfonzo
Father O’Blivion
Uncle Remus
Pygmy (Q-version)
Joe’s Garage
Wet-T Shit
Outside Now
Cut The Grass
Broken Hearts
King Kong

Willie The Pimp

Dweezil Zappa – Guitar
Aaron Arntz – Keyboards & Trumpet
Scheila Gonzalez – Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards & Vocals
Pete Griffin – Bass
Billy Hulting – Marimba, Mallets & Percussion
Jamkie Kime – Guitar
Joe Travers – Drums & Vocals
Ray White – Guitar & Vocals

I was front row and the sound was great tonight. Dweezil’s amps were blasting away with some serious intensity but I still felt a solid balance among the rest of the band. I was quite impressed with percussionist Bill Hulting’s array of instruments and ability to play them all so smoothly. His station included an 8 ft. rack of auxiliary percussion and gongs, a set of congas, a MalletKAT and a vibraphone. Bill also had several other pieces of percussion off to the side. Scheila Gonzalez’ sax and keyboard playing was also quite impressive. The highlight was when she began playing her tenor and alto saxes simultaneously during her solo spot – definitely a crowd pleaser! Guitarist/Vocalist Ray White was something else! Having been a member of Frank Zappa’s ensemble 1976, Ray was an obvious addition to the group. His vocals couldn’t have fit the part better! His stage presence was always quite energetic, whether he was clapping, dancing or belting out vocals.

The show lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes including the two song encore. At $32 a ticket, I was more than satisfied. I need to go out and get the Zappa Plays Zappa DVD now (and maybe some more original Zappa albums!). Hope to have these guys back in Vermont in the near future.


One Response

  1. […] and well rehearsed it was mind boggling. Having seen the group perform at the same venue almost exactly a year ago, I thought I was already prepared for the amazing evening of music. It turns out I was wrong. I was […]

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