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REVIEW: dredg @ the Hawthorne Theater (Portland, OR – – 4/3/09)

4th Apr 09 (Sat) 3 comments

No photos this time around.  Rock shows aren’t conducive to them unless you have a really good camera, plus last time I was here, the venue wasn’t allowing it.  Anyway, on to the show…

The openers… well, I’m bummed because I only caught the very last song of From Monuments to Masses.  I kinda dug them… they are a three-piece instrumental band and seemed to have a good groove.  The guitars were a little low in the mix, but I could at least hear what was going on.  Torche, on the other hand, was 40 minutes of painful uninterest.  It wasn’t a wall of sound, it was a wall of mud.  And not the good kind of mud that Earth or Sunn 0))) might throw down, but just muddy, sloppy metal.  Bad sound that night, maybe they’re good on record.  They seemed to be having fun, and there were some obvious fans in the crowd.

Dredg came on around 10:45, after what seemed to be a very long sound check.  They seemed to be having some feedback or other issues going on, and it actually caused some minor technical difficulties early in dredg’s set.  Anyway, this Portland show was the very first show of this tour.  They played a handful of tunes from their upcoming record (see album cover below), and they played a great set with song from their other albums as well.

This was officially my first time seeing them live “as a fan. ” The last time I saw them was when they were opening for the Blood Brothers and Coheed & Cambria.  I was blown away enough to get into their music after that show, but for this show I actually knew the words. :)

I had some major respect for Gavin (singer/ lap steel) and Dino (drums/ keyboard), but now I have much more respect for all four members.  Drew (bass) and Mark (guitars) contribute so much to the dredg sound… excellent grooves and guitar that hearkens some of (Radiohead) Jonny Greenwood’s antics.

Setlist:

  • Stamp of Origin: Pessimistic (new song)
  • I Don’t Know (new song)
  • Ireland  (new song)
  • Same Ol’ Road
  • Of the Room
  • Ode to the Sun (a fave of the night)
  • Catch Without Arms (a fave of the night)
  • R U O K? (new song)
  • Saviour (new song)
  • Information (new song)
  • Bug Eyes
  • Sang Real (a fave of the night)
  • Jamais Vu
  • The Canyon Behind Her
  • Down to the Cellar (new song)
  • Stamp of Origin: Horizon (new song)
  • No Encore

Great show, about 75 minutes… lots of stuff from their upcoming album The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion (due out June 9th).  I bet they would have played longer had it not been for the earlier technical difficulties, but maybe the venue had a midnight curfew.  I got a peek at someone who snagged the setlist; so I think I got most of the correct new songs and placement.  The stuff after “Jamais Vu” was more of a blur, big jam thing.  Overall, the new songs definitely fit with Catch Without Arms and El Cielo.  I’m looking forward to the new record, big time…

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: ZuCarboniferous

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REVIEW: Zappa Plays Zappa @ the Hawthorne Theater (Portland, OR – – 1/2/09)

3rd Jan 09 (Sat) 2 comments

Boo… no concert photos this time around… they wouldn’t allow cameras into the venue at all. :(

(Dweezil = rock)

This was my 3rd time seeing the Zappa Plays Zappa tour (aka Tour de Frank)… each one being different (set lists, lineup, promotions).  This time was at Portland’s Hawthorne Theater as the “You Can’t Fit On Stage Anymore” variation of the tour.  The venue had a small capacity (~300), you get a download code at the venue to get the entire recorded show after they mix it down (about a month?), you have a chance to win a free Hagstrom guitar (at each show), and you get to help choose the set list for the night.  Of the 68 available tunes in the ZPZ band’s repertoire, here were my selections: Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, Inca Roads, Montana, Peaches En Regalia, and Sofa. They played two of my choices. I was really hoping for “Montana,” though.  Eh, choosers shouldn’t be beggars.

Dweezil came out first and talked about the download code and how it wouldn’t quite be ready within 8 days, but that it’d be worth the wait.  I’m sure it will, as it’s gonna be 3 CDs of professionally recorded audio for “free.”  Free in that it’s part of the pricey ticket.  But, it’s not like I have to pay for it again, eh? :)

The band was very similar (if not the same) as when I saw the 2007 tour at Moonlite Gardens in Cincinnati, OH.  Different set list, of course.  They had a few technical difficulties during the show, but veryveryvery minor, and they rolled with the punches very well.  Outside of Ray White, they were all pretty much playing for the entire show, and even Ray only had a few breaks when he wasn’t needed to sing.

The ZPZ Band this time around is:

  • Dweezil Zappa: Guitar
  • Aaron Arntz: Keyboards
  • Scheila Gonzalez: Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards & Vocals
  • Pete Griffin: Bass
  • Billy Hulting: Marimba, Mallets & Percussion
  • Jamie Kime: Guitar
  • Joe Travers: Drums & Vocals
  • SPECIAL GUESTRay White: Guitar & Vocals

(Ray White is the pimp)

Setlist: (any help in filling in the blanks is appreciated)

  • Peaches En Regalia (a fave of the set)
  • City of Tiny Lights
  • Inca Roads (a fave of the set)
  • I’m Not Satisfied
  • Pygmy Twylyte
  • Idiot Bastard Son
  • Cheepnis (partial) then back to Inca Roads (??)
  • Hagstrom Guitar Giveaway Jam (I didn’t win… boo…)
  • Chunga’s Revenge with solos
  • Billy the Mountain (28 minutes) (a fave of the set)
  • Andy
  • Dirty Love (a fave of the set)
  • Uncle Remus
  • Willie the Pimp (a fave of the set)
  • Wind Up Workin’ in a Gas Station
  • San Ber’dino
  • Yo Mama
  • Black Napkins
  • Encore: ____________ (missing name, more guitar solos)
  • Muffin Man (a fave of the set)

All in all… fantastic show… 2 hours and 40+ minutes of amazing musicianship… the only things to make it better?  My own pictures perhaps… oh, and winning the guitar would have been nice. :)

I hope they come around again in the fall… I’ve seen all three of the ZPZ tours.  And this was technically the “2008” tour, even though it was in 2009 (obviously).  Seeing as I wasn’t into Frank’s music before he died, this is the next best damn thing.  Thanks, Dweezil and Co.!

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Ryan AdcockFinished -LP-

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