Back in April, ZZ Top was supposed to play at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center but bassist Dusty Hill suffered an injury while on tour and the show had to be rescheduled. Dusty is back and the wait was worth it! ZZ Top, a sold out show to the rafters at the Purple Cow and on Halloween night, it was the perfect storm! In costumes from ZZ Top beards to the Mario Bros., the SRQ audience came ready to rock!
ZZ Top is one of the only original American bands still around. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, lead guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard have been playing together for 45 years! Their Texas sound caught on in 1973 with the release of their classic album “Tres Hombres” with the big hit “LaGrange” and the blues classic “Jesus Just Left Chicago” both of which were on the night’s setlist. 70’s tunes “Cheap Sunglasses” and “I’m Nationwide” started the early part of show. Blues & rock, rock & blues is what you get with ZZ!
Billy Gibbons is a guitar virtuoso. Named #32 in the Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 100 guitarists, his sound and style are unmistakable. His homage to Hendrix with the performance of “Foxy Lady” was incredible! Gibbons humbleness shone through talking about playing with his guitar hero, Jeff Beck; little does he know he is in the same company as Beck. Billy occasionally guest stars with the rock supergroup, “Kings of Chaos”, which includes Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Steve Stevens, Robin Zander and others as the rock star lineup changes around.
Of course, they brought out the Big 80’s video and radio hits from “Legs” with Billy and Dusty swinging the furry guitars to “Sharp Dressed Man” that had the entire audience screaming the chorus. Frank Beard, quiet behind the drum kit, keeps the ZZ beat going all night long. There was even a costume change for the encore which included the quintessential ZZ Top hit “Tush”. The audience was on their feet, dancin’ in the aisles. ZZ Top is one of our best American bands, because it is all about the music!
photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock The Lens Photography