A Boston "do-over"...
Six days prior, I had taken my wife to see the Holmdel show. We had flown in from Alaska for the Royal Package. That show was fantastic, and we had a wonderful time, but down front the sound was a bit muddy and the drum line perhaps a bit overwhelming at times. As we weren’t flying home for a few more days, I managed to convince my long-suffering partner to attend the Boston performance. I was able to grab a pair of tickets right next to the soundboard, ensuring that we would get the best possible mix. It was a beautiful evening, with a slight breeze. The Zappa band was spectacular, and the sound mix was a thousand times better than what we’d gotten the week before…I knew without a doubt that my wife (who’s only exposure to KC had been at that first concert) was in for a treat…..
I had recently read a post from David Singleton outlining an issue at the Ravinia Festival regarding the use of multi-camera video feeds during the performance and why the band was opposed to them. So I was rather surprised to see them in use during the Zappa Band’s set. I was certain that they’d be turned off for the Crimson performance, but to my shock, during Devil Dogs the cameras were still on, and of course they’d focus on Pat while Gavin was doing his bit, then on Jeremy while Pat was doing his, and so on – As David had said, it was very distracting and absolutely made full attentiveness difficult.
Somewhere around the beginning of Pictures Of A City, I saw RF summon one of the stage crew, and then he gestured toward the cameraman who had stationed himself in the pit on the edge of the stage…..He was summarily removed from the area and the screens on either side of the stage then switched to a static shot of the full stage, which was almost comical, since the figures on the stage were larger and better-defined than the screens!
What can I say about the music that hasn’t already been said a hundred times? The mix was sublime, the performances by each musician were spectacular, and I was so happy that I had talked my wife into a “do-over” so that she could finally hear what I’d been enthusiastically raving about for so long…..
“Court” was so powerful that I remember thinking that the Coda would almost be pointless – Boy, was I wrong….the sheer weight and velocity of the sound during that section was unbelievable…”One More Red Nightmare” and “Larks II” were flawless. ”Islands” and “Court” were my wife’s favorites.
Jakko gave a shoutout to Pat at the end of “Indiscipline” (“I like it because it's Pat Mastelotto's birthday!”) An energetic “Red” and a beautiful “Starless” closed out the main set, before a blistering 21CSM finished off the night. This was in my opinion a fantastic show, and a contender for eventual release (hint-hint), at the very least as a full DGM download…..
This having been my fourth (and likely final) KC show, I am so happy to have attended. Thank you to the band, the crew, DGM, and everyone involved……I’ll never forget it!