Out On The Town: Zappa Plays Zappa Concert at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta

zappa plays zappa

The variety Playhouse

We bought our tickets and paid for our hotel in November! Fabgrandpa was counting down the days until the 18th of April. Finally, the big day was here. We had the VIP tickets that allowed us to enter the venue at about 5:30 so we could be there for the sound check. What a treat. This year we did not have to leave after the sound check. We just moved over a bit to the side where we would be able to see better during the concert.

Becky and Fabgrandpa at Variety Playhouse

Becky and Fabgrandpa at Variety Playhouse

Funny thing: We were standing in line outside the theater, talking to the people behind us. It turns out, they are from Tallapoosa, about 8 miles from us. Talk about a small world!

Standing by the bulletin board outside of Variety Playhouse

Standing by the bulletin board outside of Variety Playhouse

At 5:30, we went in and found a seat up close to the stage. The sound check was not as much playing songs like they did last year.

Sound check

Sound check

Dweezil said they played an outdoor venue the day before, and their equipment got wet.

Sound Check

Sound Check

They were having some problems with Ben Thomas’s guitar. They got it going to their satisfaction before the concert started.When it did start, all that empty space in front of the stage filled up with people.

Ben Dweezil Sheila

Chris Norton, Ben Thomas, Ryan Brown, Dweezil Zappa, Kurt Morgan  , Sheila Gonzalez


More music.

The Concert: Zappa Plays Zappa

The Concert: Zappa Plays Zappa

When the concert was over, we were treated to a meet and greet. We stood in a really long line, for a really long time. It was ok though, because everyone there was just like us. They wanted to meet the band, meet Dweezil, shake his hand, get an autograph.

the long line in front of us

the long line in front of us

When we finally got up there, though, it was worth the wait for at least one of us. Fabgrandpa had his picture taken with Dweezil. The only thing that would have made this man any happier would have been if Frank himself had been in that photo with them.

Fabgrandpa and Dweezil Zappa.

Fabgrandpa and Dweezil Zappa.

Just look at that huge smile. We also got some photos of the rest of the band:

Ben Thomas, the vocalist. Chris Norton, keyboards. Kurt, the bass player.

Ben Thomas, the vocalist. Chris Norton, keyboards. Kurt Morgan, the bass player.

I was talking to Dweezil in this photo, but all you can see of me is my hand. The rest of the band is Sheila Gonzalez, Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton, Ben Thomas.

I was talking to Dweezil in this photo, but all you can see of me is my hand. The rest of the band is Sheila Gonzalez, Kurt Morgan, Chris Norton, Ben Thomas.

And my stupid line of the night, when I was talking to Ben Thomas, the vocalist: “I am so impressed with your singing.”  I walked away and smacked my own head. Sigh.

And, just in case you are a Zappa fan, here is the playlist for the concert:

  • Vamp (equipment repairs)
About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.


  1. I have heard of the Zappa’s, but I never realized they were musical. I guess I never really knew who they were other than Frank, who was a hippie, right? Glad you had fun at the show 🙂

    • Frank Zappa was a musician during the hippie years, but I wouldn’t say he was a hippie. He was a musician and a composer. His music, while my husband and I like it, is not for everyone.

  2. Awesome Karen, I think it is great that you guys still go to concerts! I have always wanted to go to a Frank Zappa concert so this is interesting. I never knew about Zappa Plays Zappa. I’ll have to check it out. Glad you had fun!

  3. This sounds great! Frank Zappa was such an innovator in music. I’ve never heard of Zappa Plays Zappa before. Thanks!

  4. This looks like a really rocking show. Frank Zappa was such a creative musician.

  5. Oh how fun! Looks like y’all had a blast!

  6. That must have been so fun! It seems like they really wanted to interact with fans here!

  7. How fun this would be! I’ve heard the last name Zappa before but had no idea about the musical talent!

  8. My in-laws love Frank Zappa, I’m sure they would have loved this show too! With two young kids at home, getting out to a concert seems like such a magical getaway!

  9. Penelope says:

    I can’t even tell you how cool it is to me that you met him…he is pretty darned hot!

  10. Super cool event and even cooler you were able to get in for the sound check! Looks like you had great seats!

  11. What an exciting time, and excellent music. Plus the extras. Haven’t been to a concert in decades as I just can’t handle the crowd.

  12. I really never got into Zappa when I was younger, but I love how interactive they were with their fans. Glad you guys got to have the experience!

  13. Kristi says:

    I am not a huge concert goer myself, however slowly but surely I cross off a few on my concert bucket list. Bob Dylan was the most recent. Looks like you had a fun time, and thanks for sharing all the photos of your adventure as well.

  14. I grew up listening to Frank Zappa and will never turn down a live music experience. I am sure the meet and greet just made the show that much more exciting.

  15. I’m glad they worked out the guitar issues! Zappa sounds great!

  16. yumeating says:

    What an amazing show. When I was a little younger I had a huge crush on Dweezil Zappa.

  17. Wow, this show looks amazing! I’m so glad you had a wonderful time!

  18. My husband is a huge Frank Zappa fan. He saw his son play too and really enjoyed it. I’m glad you had a good time!

  19. How fun! I had a huge crush on Dweezil when I was young! Cool you got pics with him!

  20. Getting to sit in on the sound check must have been fun! I love listening to live music, it’s so much better than anything you hear on the radio or internet.

  21. Tamra Phelps says:

    I was born in ’65, so I definitely remember Frank Zappa. I remember Dweezil, too from early MTV & his guitar playing on various artist’s records during the 80s/90s. It’s good to see him still playing, & doing his Dad’s songs, too. He still looks amazingly young!

  22. I love Variety Playhouse! It’s such a great venue. I have seen so many fun bands there. Looks like you guys had a great time!

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