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Hive hosts Zappa concert

by Archives April 10, 2002

Frank Zappa materialized at the Hive on Friday night. “An Evening in the Spirit of Frank Zappa” revived his music, his eccentricities and made even his mirror image appear on stage.
The class that followed the Frank Zappa course at Concordia’s Music department, under Michael Pinsonneault’s guidance, successfully brought the rock star’s spirit back into this realm by putting on a performance that followed his style and approach.
Fourth-year music student, Andrew Joncas, also one of the co-ordinators for the year-end show, decidedly had a good time performing as well as enjoying the class’s accomplishment.
“The show was definitely a success,” Joncas felt. “We put a lot of work into it, especially into the sound, though the setting might have been somewhat problematic,” he added, noting that the Hive is not an ideal concert venue.
The lively crowd did however fill the room almost to capacity for the event that featured many of Zappa’s most famous songs and speeches. As one of the least politically correct rock stars, he criticized trends such as revolutions and even Flower Power. Through his music, he made socio-political comments about hippies, valley girls, the military and even Jewish princesses.
The musical interlude officially started with Joncas gloriously performing as “Bobby Brown,” a pretty-boy-turned-S&M-gay-man that Zappa created while maintaining such a character could easily exist in this world. And at the end of the song, Bobby Brown even “went down.”
The show continued with the hilarious interpretation of “Valley Girl,” who for those of you still don’t know, was the ancestor to Pam Anderson. Zappa made fun of the valley girls’ culture, thus their vocabulary, comprised of “As if! Like, totally,” and “Fo’ su’e!”
In addition to critiquing these two stereotypes, Zappa also deconstructed the American Dream and its own typecasts. Students performed “Jewish Princess,” a song the lead singer chose because “Frank Zappa was nice enough to honor my religion,” and “Lonesome Cowboy,” a ballad about a drunken redneck.
Zappa was all about improvising and using props during his shows and the students wanted to present that side of his performances. Therefore, the show continued with an improvisation piece which Mark Corwin, Chair of the Music Department directed by placing vegetables on a framed plate, which triggered an audio response from the musicians and audience.
The performance also featured some excerpts from Zappa’s speeches and other instrumental songs as well as “Peaches and Riviera” and the explicit “Muffin Man.”
The students who performed on Friday night displayed an infinite amount of talent.
Now, if more students got involved in events such as this Frank Zappa tribute, the Hive might become a more populated and useful place on campus.

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