Frank Zappa Day In Baltimore

Grand Opera House
Wilmington, DE
August 9, 2007

I drove down to Wilmington and got there about an hour before show time. I drove around for a little bit before I settled on the parking deck behind the theater because of the proximity to the buses, and the fact that it looked like the safest place to park in the neighborhood.

I walked around to the front of the theater and immediately saw Mike waiting out front. He said he had arrived earlier in the day and ran into "Weird Al" Yankovic, Suzanne, and Nina by the buses already. He wasn't planning on actually going to the show, but since he was there, he bought a last minute ticket. On the drive down, Jackie called me to tell me if I saw Al to tell him that it was Frank Zappa Day in Baltimore. I passed the message along to Mike because he's a big Frank Zappa fan as well.

After a quick trip back to the car to get my umbrella, I went inside and found myself with a really good seat in the third row, one empty seat away from Nancy. The theater was smaller than I remember. Although I didn't really get a lot of time to take in the theater last time I was there, as I arrived late because I got trapped in road construction. Mike ended up sitting in the balcony, but from my vantage point, it appeared he would have a nice view of the stage. When the seat next to me went unclaimed when the show started, I moved into it because it gave me a clearer view of the stage. Nobody ever came to claim the seat. Who buys third row seats and doesn't show up?

The streamers for "Canadian Idiot" flew right over my head. It was a "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?" night, and because this song is basically the only time Rubén Valtierra is lighted well, I took pictures of him while Al read a newspaper on the other side of the stage. On this tour it seems like the guys in the band almost are never lighted well. On past tours they were spotlighted much more.

Grand Opera House

"It's All About The Pentiums" was very loud and bright. Al used the whole stage and went back and forth across it a lot. During "You're Pitiful" he nodded towards someone in the audience after the "Never had a date that you couldn't inflate" line. His shirt sequence included the accordion shirt and the Atlantic Records Sucks shirt.

For "Wanna B Ur Lovr," Al walked down the middle aisle and also sang to several people in my vicinity. There was a walkway in the row behind me, and Al came down the walkway, leaned his arm over the back of the empty chair next to me, which was my real seat. With his back to me and his elbow resting on the empty chair, he sang to the woman sitting next to it.

Al linked his hands and waved his arms in an up and down motion during "I'm In Love With The Skipper." During "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" Al acted out almost every action. It was the most acting I have seen him do during the song. I paid particular attention to Steve Jay during the song, and without doubt, I could tell that he was playing keyboards during the song. Al did an extended leg shake during "Eat It."

There were quite a few cheers during the "I sued Delta Airlines, cause they sold me a ticket to New Jersey. I went there, and it sucked." lines. I imagine this was because the venue was so close to the border that many people came from New Jersey to see the show. I'd hate to think Delaware thought New Jersey sucked, because then we'd have to kick their ass. I was in a good spot for catching dollar bills. I caught about five of them. There were many others that landed on the floor under seats. The little kid sitting near me was having fun crawling under the seats to pick them off the floor, and after the show I picked up a few that he missed and gave them out to people in the audience.

Al singled out someone in the front row who was not singing during "The Saga Begins" At the end of the song, he went over, with his accordion, and played with Steve, Jim West, and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz.

Grand Opera House

Overall, the show got more energetic as it went on, but the guys seemed to be not very active or animated during "Smells Like Nirvana." It wasn't bad, it's just that I've seen more energetic performances. Al singled out the other half of the audience to throw water on and throw the cup towards. The Kevin Federline interview video clip got huge cheers throughout. "White & Nerdy" went over well too.

Grand Opera House

During "Albuquerque" he asked for Halle Berry donuts and his sweetie called him a sugar urethra. He picked on the same person he picked on during "The Saga Begins" and yelled at this person for just sitting there and judging him the whole show.

After the show, I was intercepted by Jon on my way to the bus. I had stopped to check a voice mail message and Jon walked up behind me. He chatted a while with another fan and her family who had spotted him, then he spent some time talking to me about upcoming shows, and pictures Jackie had taken of him that were being used on various web sites. I was also able to get confirmation regarding one of the pictures on his MySpace page. We chatted until the stage crew asked us to move, then Jon went back to his hotel, and I waited by the bus to see if Al would come out.

There was a pretty decent sized crowd waiting at the bus. Based on the signed shirts, and chatter I saw and heard, it looked like the entire band had already made their way through. All that was left was for the crowd to wait for Al, and they didn't appear like they were planning to leave any time soon. I passed the time chatting with a couple who had come from Maryland.

Al came out not too shortly later. Security asked people to line up and asked people not to take posed pictures, and limit things to one autograph per person. However, it appeared several people traded their autographs for pictures instead. When it was my turn, he seemed happy to see me. I had two messages to pass along. Bobbi had asked me to give Al a hug for her, so I passed that along to him, and he hugged me back to give one to her. I also mentioned how I was supposed to tell him was Frank Zappa Day in Baltimore. He asked me what that was supposed to mean and I told him I didn't know. We both kind of just laughed at the silliness of the whole situation. Al gave me a parting gift and I headed back towards my car.

On the way back to the bus, I passed Steve loading his luggage onto another bus. We chatted for a little bit and I asked him about his bicycle, which I could see stored under the bus. He told me he takes it out and rides it every day. I let Steve finish packing the bus, and walked back to the car and headed home.

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