Downtown Concord

Head to the Capitol Center for the Arts in downtown Concord for a fun evening out

Now that I’m revisiting some of the cities and towns, Concord seemed like a natural — but I wasn’t sure if I could top my 2012 excursion. Unfortunately, the Purple Pit, a BYOB live music venue that I fell in love with, has since closed so I had to go looking elsewhere. And with an independent movie theater and a major performing arts venue within spitting distance of each other, entertainment is not difficult to find.

On this particular evening, my musician boyfriend was finally cashing in on one of his Christmas presents: a private guitar workshop with Dweezil Zappa at the Capitol Center for the Arts, followed by the Zappa Plays Zappa concert that evening. Although he isn’t necessarily a huge Zappa fan, he is a huge fan of hugely talented guitarists, and I thought this would be the opportunity of a lifetime. The workshop took place in the afternoon and my boyfriend, although initially anxious about the whole thing, ended up raving about the experience and I was officially crowned “The World’s Best Girlfriend.”

My boyfriend attended the workshop solo (I only play air guitar) and I met up with him after at The Barley House, a pub that is located on the other end of Main St. The Barley House offers some unique craft beers on tap, but the star of the show was the food. The fried Brussels sprouts appetizer with bacon and garlic dipping sauce was outstanding as was my boyfriend’s burger and my Mediterranean salad.

After dinner and drinks, we walked back to the venue in time to grab a couple of plastic glasses of wine before the show. Apparently, in the past, the Capitol Center didn’t allow drinks in the theater itself but recently changed the policy. The show itself proved to be … interesting. Dweezil and his band played the entirety of his father’s “Roxy & Elsewhere” album. The music had a beatnik performance art vibe and Dweezil had a warm, yet tongue-in-cheek way about the whole thing.

At one point, I was brought up on stage with a group of ladies to help act out one song. We were instructed to dance like we were having seizures. Of course, my heel broke and the crowd gasped in unison as I began to slo mo tumble before catching myself at the last second. But the thing I will remember most, besides making an ass out of myself on stage with Dweezil Zappa, was how much the crowd FREAKED OUT over the music. I have never been to a concert where everyone was in such a frenzy after each song.

My boyfriend explained that Frank’s songs were very intellectual and attracted that sort of cuckoo-smart fan base. He mused that we were probably surrounded by doctors and lawyers and engineers, and listening to this kind of music is probably how they all blow off steam. And wouldn’t you know it, the one guy that Dweezil invited up on stage, who became a mascot of sorts for the crowd, introduced himself as a doctor. Another frenzy followed.