Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tool at the Frank Erwin Center

I saw Tool live for the first time live, last night. Rumor has it, that this tour may be their swan song.

In general, I have a great distaste for large Arena shows ever since seeing the Police at Shea Stadium in 1984, and this concert did nothing to change that outlook. My seats were up on the upper level, stage left, pretty much even with the front of the stage. As a result, the sound was so-so, but not particularly loud. It also allowed me to see the stage floor, which was a white surface and used throughout the show as a projection screen. This was used throughout for displaying arcane Sacred Geometry figures.

The light and video portion of the show was pretty awesome, although my view of the screens behind the stage was somewhat hindered. The band is tight, and Maynard seemed to be on. However, after the Zappa Plays Zappa show the night before, this show was a bit of a let-down. The 2 hour duration almost seemed like a rip-off, after Dweezil's 3 1/2 hour marathon.

One of the strangest things about this show was that they brought out Terry Bozzio to jam with the band on a song. He played percussion, a couple of Timbales, a Dumbec and a Cymbal. I guess I was surprised, because I had thoroughly scanned the house the night before at the Zappa Plays Zappa show, and did not spot Terry anywhere. Perhaps he was back stage at the Hogg, I had assumed that he wasn't in town.

Tool play a mix of material from their 5 albums. I specifically remember Schism, 46 and 2, and Prison Sex. I was disappointed that they didn't do Aenema. Good show, but not great.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zappa Plays Zappa - Part Deaux at the UT Hogg Auditorium

For the second time in less than a year, I saw the Zappa Plays Zappa show at the UT Hogg Auditorium. This time, the special guest was Ray White.

There were several surprising things about this show:

  • At various times, including the opening number, the Mystery Man, the band accompanied a video clip of Frank. They also accompanied his vocals on Dumb All Over, and one other song that I can not remember now.
  • The set lasted approximately 3 1/2 hours again, but there was no intermission this time around. Dweezil did not leave the stage at all.
  • There was virtually no overlap in the set list, with the show I saw last year. This time around there was new material from Zappa in New York, You Are What You Is, and Joe's Garage.
  • There was a song improvised from phrases submitted by the audience. This worked very well.
  • Terry Bozzio was surprisingly not visible. (Perhaps he was backstage?)

I can't say much else other than Ray White is fucking amazing, and this show is one of the best things going right now. I'm still kicking myself for not noticing the DVDs from the 2006 ZplaysZ show on the Merch table. Hopefully, I can snag one via another method.

The biggest chuckle I had this night was a young couple. The woman was wearing a Titties and Beer T-shirt and her SO had one that said Pussy and Coffee. Unfortunately, Dweezil resisted the urge to play Frank's most requested song immortalized on her shirt.