LIVE: Ed Palermo’s Big Band @ The Falcon, 10/31/15
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
It turned out that the performance had two themes divided into two sets: “The Torture Never Stops” and “50 Shades of Frank.”
The first set featured a sleepy-looking Ed Palermo conducting his band while dressed in bunny rabbit coverall pajamas (complete with bunny ears), while his primary musical foils – guitarist-vocalist Bruce McDaniel and electric violinist Katie Jacoby – were decked up respectively as Doc Brown and Marty McFly from the ’80s movie “Back to the Future.”
As usual, Palmero and his wailing big band rolled through snippet after snippet of baby boomer musical memories in rapid-cut succession, including music by the Beatles, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson, Cream, Iron Butterfly, the Rolling Stones, horror TV and movie-based themes as well as the band’s ever-present main musical influence – Frank Zappa.
Other band members also had various sorts of costumes for the holiday. Keyboardist Ted Kooshian was a Schroeder-like Beethoven with an ill fitting wig that flopped over his head.
But the opening set proved to be only the visual and aural warm-up of what was to come later in the night.
For the second set, Palermo was attired once again in pajamas, this time red silk pajamas and in his mouth, a pipe – imagine Hugh Hefner conducting a big band. Eddie Daniels wore a rubber outfit as the Gimp from “Pulp Fiction” and the tall, leggy Katie Jacoby as a Playboy bunny. This set was filled with music of a sexual nature than the usual dose of double entendre and mildly adult humor. Much of this set was filled with giggles of delight from both the audience and the band.
To me the highlight of the evening was the band tearing into a rip-roaring rendition of the Allman Brother’s classic “ Whipping Post” with McDaniel and Jacoby trading wild, dueling leads and unison licks. Yes, this classic, almost-sacred song from my early adolescence now has an eyeworm attached to it with Mcdaniel and Jacoby playing in their wild, provocative costumes. I will now have a shit-eating grin every time I hear the song.
As Ed quipped, “Count Basie couldn’t get away with this shit.” Well, the Ed Palermo Big Band can, and they did so with gusto.
THE ED PALERMO BOG BAND SET LIST
THE TORTURE NEVER STOPS
Po-jama People (intro only)
Good Morning, Good Morning (the Beatles)
Welcome to My Nightmare > The Torture Never Stops (Alice Cooper/Frank Zappa)
Halloween Mash-up “Psycho” Shower Scene Music ? Thriller > The Munsters Theme > Tubular Bells (fro “The Exorcist”) > Lumpy Gravy > Carmina Burana > Eleanor Rigby > In the Hall of the Mountain King
Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida G-Spot, Baby Mash-up: We Love You (Rolling Stones) > Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida (Iron Butterfly)> Sunshine of Your Love (Cream) > G-Spot Tornado (Zappa) > Caravan Duke Ellington)
Big Swifty #1 (Zappa)
Marqueson’s Chicken (Zappa)
Big Swifty (Zappa)
Po-jama People (Zappa) > Peace Pipe (Edgar Winter)
The Torture Never Stops (Zappa)
Oh No (Zappa)
Why Is Ted Kooshian Barking?
Echidna’s Arf (Zappa)
21st Century Schizoid Man (Robert Fripp)
The Torture Never Stops (Zappa
FIFTY SHADES OF FRANK
Between the Sheets (Isley Brothers)
Wild Love (Zappa)
Filthy Habits (Zappa)
Wild Love (Zappa)
Penguin in Bondage (Zappa)
Dirty Love (Zappa)
Walk On the Wild Side (Lou Reed)
Wild Love (Zappa)
Bamboozled Mash-up: Bamboozled by Love (Zappa) > I Am the Slime (Zappa) > Willie the Pimp (Zappa)