I was three sheets to the wind when I started this one late last night. Maybe that's the way I should do puzzles all the time, because I was dialed in! Frannie didn't even get a chance at it, I'm sorry to say.
I didn't get much the first time through, but once I had a few things to grab onto, everything fell together quickly. TRIBUTEBAND (39A: Dread Zeppelin or the Fab Faux) and TET (36A: Vietnamese holiday) gave me enough to guess OH(!)CALCUTTA(!) (1D: Broadway musical with two exclamation points in its name), and then "at ease," even though it was half wrong, gave me enough to get MEATEATERS (2D: They might have bones to pick). The common, and recently seen, HERONS (4D: Some wetlands wildlife) made it clear that ATHOME was the right answer for 19A: Comfortable, and then the NW was done.
Is it bad that I knew MCRIB (8D: Fast-food debut of 1981) almost from the clue alone? I was thinking that way, and then the C of KICKBOXER (15A: Fighter getting a leg up) gave me the necessary verification.
A favorite answer was TRICORDERS (Hand-held "Star Trek" devices), and KATESPADE (58A: Bag lady?) and REF (26A: Play critic?) were both amusing. SELFSEEKER (30D: Narcissistic one), however, was pretty weak, I thought. And I don't know why ASCOT is the answer to 42A: Gold Cup venue. What does that even mean?
Overall, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. A clean, clever puzzle.
I'll have to test my new solving method again tonight, to see if the effect can be repeated. You know, for science...