An Evening With Frank Zappa During Which The Torture Never Stops is the latest release from Eagle Rock Entertainment. This time out, the performance is Frank Zappa live on Halloween Night in 1981 at the Palladium Theatre in New York City. I have been a Zappa fan for about as long as I can remember and I was surprised to receive this disc in the mail because believe it or not, I was actually in attendance for this specific performance back in 1983. Watching the DVD brought back an incredible flood of memories that had long been filed away in the recesses of my mind.

After watching this DVD a couple of times through I still found myself “wowed” and more than impressed with the performance. The show opens with the instrumental “Black Napkins” as Zappa tears up the fret board with his stellar guitar playing; I think that he was a terribly underrated guitar player, the man really could shred. The rest of the show contains a very good sampling of tunes from throughout his prolific career. Fan favorites such as “Charlie’s Enormous Mouth,” “ Montana” and “You Are What You Is” are included in the set list alongside other less popular tunes from deeper in the Zappa catalog.

One of the things that really drew me to Zappa years ago was his incredibly dry sense of humor that permeates a large portion of his songs. When I was watching this DVD I couldn’t help but chuckle at tunes such as “Harder Than Your Husband”, “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing”, and “The Illinois Enema Bandit.” I remember having the same reaction to those tunes as a teenage kid back in 1983 when I was part of the sold out crowd on Halloween Night.

The other thing worth mentioning is the absolutely, incredibly talented cast of characters that supported Frank on this memorable night including a very young, relatively unknown, Steve Vai on the guitar, Chad Wackerman on the drums and the incredible vocals of rhythm guitarist/vocalist Ray White.

Even though the performance on this DVD is almost 30 years old, it does not seem dated; alright perhaps the clothes might make it a bit dated but the concert itself is fantastic and a is true testament to staying power of this legendary artist. Zappa has been gone from us now for many years, but his legacy lives on in releases like this. Zappa fans will eat this DVD up and those not yet familiar with him will find this is a perfect way to become acquainted with such a renowned composer, guitar player and overall entertainer.

Track Listing:

01. Black Napkins
02. Montana
03. Easy Meat
04. Beauty Knows No Pain
05. Charlie’s Enormous Mouth
06. Fine Girl
07. Teen-age Wind
08. Harder Than Your Husband
09. Bamboozled By Love
10. We’re Turning Again
11. Alien Orifice
12. Flakes
13. Broken Hearts Are For Assholes
14. You Are What You Is
15. Mudd Club
16. The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
17. Dumb All Over
18. Heavenly Bank Account
19. Suicide Chump
20. Jumbo Go Away
21. Stevie’s Spanking
22. The Torture Never Stops
23. Strictly Genteel
24. The Illinois Enema Bandit

Run Time: 117 minutes
Release Date: November 16, 2010

Check out: “The Torture Never Stops (clip)”