the cheeky Frank Zappa hologram tour hit Capitol Theatre (pics, setlist)
What made the concept work at the show was how it was presented with a wink. Zappa once released a live LP titled Does Humor Belong in Music? and the obvious answer was of course “yes,” something his fans have always embraced. Even though guitarist Ray White asked the crowd to suspend their disbelief at one point in the show, he didn’t need to. They were with the group at every turn. Part of that is because the band featured Zappa all-stars (Mike Keneally! Scott Thunes!) playing live with recordings of archival performances but also because the entire show was programmed with Zappa fans in mind.
For most of the concert, the hologram wasn’t even center stage; instead, the focus was on cartoons and Terry Gilliam-esque animations that played into Zappa’s lyrics. For “Montana,” a song in which Zappa fantasized about buying a dental-floss farm, the accompanying visuals looked a bit like a lyric video with dental floss spelling out some of the words and making the shape of Zappa’s iconic mustachioed face. For “Cheepnis,” Zappa was an anthropomorphic (once again mustachioed) hot dog dancing with a werewolf. Both sequences got heaps of applause and cheers. At other times, the visuals were like vignettes: During “Trouble Every Day,” Zappa’s response to Sixties race riots, they resembled the front page of a newspaper with video of him singing every so often. – [Rolling Stone]
The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa, aka the Frank Zappa hologram tour, was an idea that Frank came up with before he died in 1993 (a concept he called “Intercontinental Absurdities” in his autobiography), and is more tongue-in-cheek than many other hologram tours. It still featured a killer lineup of former Zappa bandmates, including Ray White, Mike Keneally, Scott Thunes, Robert Martin, Ed Mann, and drummer/Zappa archivist Joe Travers who, along with the ghostly image of Frank, played classics like “Cosmik Debris,” “Peaches en Regalia,” “Trouble Every Day,” and more.
The tour hit the NYC area earlier this month with shows at Port Chester’s The Capitol Theatre, NJ’s Count Basie Theatre and Long Island’s The Paramount. We’ve got pictures from the 4/19 show at Capitol Theatre, which also featured Frank’s son Ahmet on “My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama” and “Dead Girls of London,” in the gallery above and you can check out the setlist below.
SETLIST: The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa @ Capitol Theatre 4/19/2019
Trouble Every Day
Penguin in Bondage
Village of the Sun
The Evil Prince
Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?
Peaches en Regalia
The Dangerous Kitchen
My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama (with Ahmet Zappa)
Dead Girls of London (with Ahmet Zappa)
photos by Bryan Weber