Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ZZ Top at the Beacon Theatre

As a child in Houston, Texas, Billy Gibbons listened to classical and country music. His musical trajectory was re-carved when he saw Elvis Presley perform on television, however, and he became transfixed by rock and roll. At age 13, he received an electric guitar and amplifier as Christmas presents, and a year later formed his first band, the Saints. In the mid-1960s, Gibbons joined a psychedelic rock group called the Coachmen, who became the Moving Sidewalks and released an album in 1968. The Moving Sidewalks folded in 1969, and Gibbons formed a blues-rock and boogie trio, ZZ Top. His original band mates left quickly, and Gibbons recruited bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard from a rival local band, American Blues. Over the past 48 years, this trio has recorded 15 studio albums, sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and gained induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ZZ Top's most recent album, Tonite at Midnight: Live Greatest Hits from Around the World, was released on September 9, 2016.

With no new songs to promote tonight at the Beacon Theatre, ZZ Top played a solid set comprised of all of its best-known songs. "That Little Ol’ Band From Texas" was the same three guys playing the same three chords. Song after song, the band locked into a simple groove with Gibbons  starting with boogie riffs and launching into sizzling blues-based leads. Barrelhouse rhythms and muscular guitar leads synced well, even when Gibbons leaned on distortion effects. Meanwhile, the extended mid-song jams were bookended by Gibbons and Hill singing humorous lyrics, many laced with double entendres and innuendo, which were still amusing even after all these years. Visually, there was never a dull moment, as the sharp dressed bearded men synchronized suits and occasional choreography, and even brought out their white faux-fur-covered instruments for one song. The music was propulsive classic rock at its finest, and the band's visual gimmicks made the concert that much more fun.

Visit ZZ Top at

  1. Got Me Under Pressure
  2. Waitin' for the Bus
  3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  4. Gimme All Your Lovin'
  5. Pincushion
  6. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
  7. I Gotsta Get Paid
  8. Foxy Lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
  9. Catfish Blues (Robert Petway cover)
  10. Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis cover)
  11. Cheap Sunglasses
  12. Chartreuse
  13. Sharp Dressed Man
  14. Legs

  1. La Grange
  2. Tush

Encore 2:

  1. Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover)