The Bogus Pomp Orchestra, Tampa Theatre, Aug. 21

The Bay area's brilliant Frank Zappa tribute band called it quits last fall, but, as it turns out, their fans wouldn't let them. Shortly after BP's last show, aficionados began donating money to keep the beast alive. Over several months, the brain trust hatched a plan: roll out a new show that included an expanded ensemble and all new arrangements of Zappa songs. Bogus Pomp set the bar really high and then cleared it with space to spare. The 800-or-so people who showed up on this rainy night got treated to a truly transcendent performance. Packed on stage was the nine-piece Bogus Pomp band along with 15 classical players, most moonlighting from The Florida Orchestra. They were conducted by 23-year-old Tom Trapp, who spent months concocting arrangements that would integrate the rock cats and the symphony folk. The show was exquisitely paced. There were lots of frenzied orgies of notes and rhythm changes — staples of Zappa's work — but they were countered by beautifully lyrical passages. Leader/guitarist Jerry Outlaw was in top form. His solo on "Watermelon in Easter Hay" was an emotional tour de force. This BPO concert, a completely D.I.Y. endeavor, can legitimately be called a milestone event on Tampa Bay's cultural scene.


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