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1978 09 07 Berlin DE  
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Joined: 2007-11-19
Posts: 3217
Location: New Amsterdam
Post 2010-11-28 19:57   [Quote] 
It's the 1978 Summertime Open Air Festival in Berlin!
Welcome to Waldbuehne (seats: 22,000!) . . .
wait kids, back in the Volkswagon, the event has been moved indoors to . . .
Deutschlandhalle (seats: 10,000) Why the move? I'm guessing bad weather or they undersold (?!) and decided on a smaller venue.

Here (of course) we have the Zappa performance. I would love to check out the whole show (see below) with
Brand X, John Mclaughlin & One Truth Band and Peter Gabriel.
The John Mclaughlin & One Truth Band part of this show is available here (How cool is that?).
Btw, Phil Collins was an occasionable member of Brand X
(in between Genesis gigs) and Chester Thompson spent some time drumming with the band also.

Whether your using headphones or blasting it on a decent sound system (while your wife is out holiday shopping),
this recording is suprerb. I chose the latter and I got a real feel for the space of the Deutschlandhalle.

Not a lot of banter from the laid-back FZ tonight. I get the feeling Frank is not a big fan of these multi-band gigs
(this is their third one in a two week period). His amazing solos are all business and at times dark & moody.

Maybe someone like Doot could answer this? What's the competive level like, amongest groups when they play these festivals?
If FZ & the band have something to prove you don't really get a sense of it (or do you?), cause they let loose with a multitude
of vocal mayhem (everyone's miked up, including the drumming seal), top notch playing with healthy amounts of solos, quotes galore and
some great improvs with special guest L. Shankar.
Denny Walley really stands out this evening. A lot of his signature moments (on slide/vocals) appear here. D.W. leaves after the next tour,
but Frank would bring him back numerous times to the studio to recreate these sounds for upcoming albums (that slide is
a must on "The Meek Shall . . ." for "YAWYI).
Vinnie C. turns out a fine performance with some smokin' sounds too. In fact, everyone is tremendous. But sadly, Arthur's
bass is barely audible except for quiet moments (yes, I tried to tweak my equalizer).

The headline band gets ready, while we hear . . .
"Leather (Lather) Grout" over the PA.
Then someone introduces, "Frank Zappa"! Very Happy Alas, FZ will not grace the stage just yet! Sad
The show officialy begins with the "Purple Lagoon Intro" tune-up with a Zappa guitar solo included!
Don't miss this very entertaining sound check with a scarey moment when Denny's amp won't work!
Z_wonders "He has to play the first note of our first song. If his guitar isn't working we're in a lot of trouble!"

Have no fear, they get it all fixed up. And I can safely say that every song here has something kind
of highlight. It's all that good! Very Happy
We get a excellent and moody FZ solo on "Easy Meat". And then it all comes together when Ike & Denny "Keep It
(really) Greasey" with some super smooth dueling vocals. Great pairing!
The "Village" gets a real funky vamp for Frank to get into some nasty string time!
Huge solo from Mr. Z on ". . . Tiny Lights".
Eddie, Petey, Tommy and Vinny all get to strut their stuff on "Pound". Which leads right into "Deathless Horsie".
Without introduction, Shankar joins the band. I'm more familiar with the textures of someone like "Sugarcane" Harris.
But Shankar really brings out the flavor of his homeland in his playing. Later, even Vinny spices up his drumming.
hoops wrote:
what is it with these hot violinists by the way . . .
Here's another one for you. Shankar's niece, Gingger.

Shankar continues to jam out with the band on "Conehead" and a "Improv". All outstanding moments in live Zappa history.
Vocal funtime with "Flakes", "Fingers" and "Snow Suite". Just remember . . . "Nanook rubs it. And Alfie loves it!"
Excellent closer with "Bamboozled". Ike's superior vocals make you feel the pain and heartache. While Denny & Frank
fill up the "Love" with some snazzy guitar work. cooler

Here's another review from

Read this little tidbit at
Frankie says:
Z_wonders A person woud be a moron not to appreciate McLaughlin’s technique. The guy has certainly found out how to operate a guitar as
if it were a machine gun. But I’m not always enthusiastic about the lines I hear or the ways in which they’re used. I don’t think you
can fault him, though, for the amount of time and effort it must have taken to play an instrument that fast. I think anybody who
can play that fast is just wonderful. And I’m sure 90% of teenage America would agree, since the whole trend in the business has
been “faster is better.”
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