Photo by Larson Sutton

On Friday night, at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, the Zappa Band performed a two-hour, hometown warm-up date ahead of this month’s anticipated Northeast U.S. tour.  

The six-piece band – featuring alumni members of the late Frank Zappa’s ensemble: bassist Scott Thunes, guitarist Mike Keneally, singer/guitarist Ray White, and keyboardist Robert Martin – scattered familiar Zappa classics, such as “Zombie Woof” and “Peaches en Regalia,” among deeper album cuts, as well as a few songs believed to be unrecorded by the avant-garde rock composer and guitarist, including “#2.”  

Opening with “I’m the Slime,” the sextet offered both proper renditions and longer, extended groupings of pieces that included “Village of the Sun,” “What’s New in Baltimore?” and “Society Pages.”  With Zappa’s son, Ahmet, in attendance the band also nodded to the Zappa Family Trust’s upcoming multi-disc release, Zappa/Erie, with a uniquely arranged version of “Oh No.”  

Rounding out the exceptionally talented six were Zappa’s archivist, drummer Joe “Vaultmeister” Travers, and guitarist Jamie Kime.  Next up for the Zappa Band are 11 dates across the northeastern U.S. corridor, beginning June 12 in Homer, New York, and including an appearance at Sony Hall in New York City. 

Before the East Coast swing commences, however, the band has one more California tune-up: Sunday night in Escondido. Learn more here.