In September of 1978, Frank Zappa took the stage with his rockin' teenage combo (Ike Willis
, Denny Walley
, Tommy Mars, Peter Wolf
, Arthur Barrow
, Ed Mann
, and the great Vinnie Colaiuta) at the Uptown Theater in Chicago. This album is the entire show and fans are going to love it. The leadoff track is a cool unheard guitar instrumental called "Twenty-One." Played in a 21-beat rhythm, it seems related to "Thirteen" from around the same time period (on YCDTOA, Vol. 6
). "Easy Meat" features an earlier arrangement and a nasty guitar solo, while "Village of the Sun" adds a weird interlude with some additional lyrics that sets up the vamp for another fantastic guitar solo. "Bamboozled by Love" has a nice Denny Walley slide solo and an excellent FZ guitar solo. The next songs give some nice solo space to other bandmembers: Tommy Mars on "Sy Borg," and Tommy, Peter Wolf, and Vinnie all get showcased in "Little House I Used to Live In." "Paoxysmal Splendo" is an odd tune that contains snippets that were or would become other songs. It starts with some tangoed "Greggery Peccary" references, switching to the "I'm a Beautiful Guy" riff for one part of the guitar solo and moving into a droning backdrop to finish the solo. "Yo Mama" has another great FZ solo, followed by a really nice rock band take on "Strictly Genteel" and a fantastic "Black Napkins." Some of the songs are merely performed well, but there are enough surprises and great solos that fans will be pleased. This isn't the place to start your Zappa collection, but releases of full FZ shows are rare and hearing another full show with Vinnie Colaiuta on drums is a treat.