Lisa's Rants and Raves
Recently, I had the opportunity to hit the open road with a vengeance in order to do something I had not done in about twelve years.
Are you all at the edges of your seats at this point? I didn't think so. The reason for my departure was so that I could attend a Zappa Plays Zappa concert.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, Frank Zappa was a musical genius known for his complex compositions, wacky lyrics and sophisticated musical arrangements. Well, he died many years ago and his son has been playing his music throughout the land in his honor, hence the name of the band. Get it?
Moving along, I invited my childhood friend, Diane, to accompany me on the four hour journey to Columbus Ohio, in order to take in the show. We did spend the weekend as I love to make an adventure out of any kind of expedition. For example, if I'm heading to a guest ranch, other “touristy” regions, located near said ranch, are explored to the max. I cram 27 extra activities into any given vacation itinerary, much to the delight of all mobile cohorts. It's a good thing that Edna, my van, is fully equipped and ready for camping at all times.
That last statement came in handy as my fellow wandering gypsy was under the weather the entire time, if under the weather is now defined as having a possible case of pneumonia. She was a total trooper and didn't let it slow her down too much. I simply put her to bed in the belly of the beast and pressed on toward our destination.
Mind you, both Di and I are at that particular womanly stage in which we alternate between boiling and freezing, if you receive my drift. In fact, while sewing up the reservations, I opted for two doubles, rather than a king, and told the reservation gal that it would be best to suffer miserably from said condition in separate beds. Clearly she was all of 21 because she was clueless over the whole statement. In other words, when I say two hot chicks, I'm being quite literal, but, I digress.
I had not been to a concert in many years, and couldn't help but note how things have changed when compared to the musical events of yesteryear.
In the days of my lost youth, I can remember attendees swaying in unison whilst displaying lit lighters high above their heads, much in the manner of Lady Liberty and her torch—minus the frozen pose, of course. Whole stadiums would appear to be flickering due to the Group Bic Factor.
Said lighters were also utilized for, er, the intended purpose of being flame producers. This came in handy for ingesting legal and illegal modes of smoke, so to speak.
This would all be considered to be strictly off limits in the modern era as even firing up a cigarette during a concert could, very well, lead to incarceration.
This was the first concert at which one did not become intoxicated simply by breathing the air within the facility, if you know of what I speak.
In this day and age, Zippos have been replaced with cell phones when it comes to group festivities, including, but not limited to, concerts. The space directly above most everyone involved is now, evidently, reserved for filming purposes, rather than for majestic displays of tiny fires. I'm convinced that most people now live life through the lens of a recording device disguised as a cellular unit. In my never humble opinion, some are missing the point of a LIVE event.
Another change that I couldn't help but note was that I'm now ancient. Yes, it's true. However, compared to most other concert goers, Di and I seemed to be almost spry—I made a rhyme. I think our fellow Zappa freaks ranged in age between thirty and seventy.
Not to mention, but I will, of course, I think there were fifteen men per every one woman. At first I thought we looked stranger than usual because we were being eyeballed to the max by the male population of the line. Turns out that we didn't look hideous, neither of us had grown an extra head, we did not have warts on our noses but, we were, and still are, women. Put simply, we were anomalies at that particular show. (I generally am an anomaly but I'm digressing again. Hold me. Wow, I just noticed I'm doing so in parenthesis too. Will the thrill ever stop?)
When I've attended other musical events I have never needed the aid of a hand fan. You know the kind that folds up and then can be dramatically whipped open? (This is usually done with a downward sweeping motion.) It turns out that Daughter of Di had presented her with said fan, due to the above-mentioned hot flash scenario. So, not only did I have a personal breeze producer on hand, in the form of a sick woman named Di, but, the gesture was a source of entertainment for the gent standing next to us. We always aim to please.
Often musicians put on elaborate demonstrations involving light shows, fireworks and other visually stimulating special effects. This was not the case with Zappa Plays Zappa and that made the show very intimate with the focus on the actual music at hand. I have to say that I really dug that aspect of it all because it was very different from other shows from other eras. Perhaps the band simply did not want to cause massive cardiac arrests to unfold by utilizing terrifying sounds and lights? Now that I ponder, I see their motives, quite clearly.
In closing, stop clapping, I must say that we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest extent of the law. After the sweat dried, we piled into a cab and made our way back to our secure nest. Both of us had achy legs from standing for hours and sleep came before we morphed into pumpkins. Indeed, things have changed in terms of concerts, life, bedtimes and other jazz but, two old hot women can still have fun, from time to time, without being hospitalized after the fact.