Sunday evening’s ZZ Top show at the Riverside Theater united more leather-clad, inked, and bearded biker dudes and broads than a Harley convention. The show was originally rescheduled from last October, after bassist Dusty Hill took a fall on his tour bus and injured his hip. One may wonder if the band, in their ripening years, would still put on a good show. Pioneers of the 70’s blues infused rock renaissance, the three piece performed with a synchronicity and awareness of each other that is only obtained by nearly 46 years of performing together.
Famous for their long grizzly beards, cheap sunglasses, and fuzzy guitars, fans paid tribute by styling themselves likewise. The ornately decorated theater smelled faintly and untraditionally of worn leather that night. You could practically see the reminiscence in the eyes of a crowd full of baby boomers reliving their hay days through classics like “Have Mercy” and “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.”
Though ZZ Top is powering through the fading end of the rock era, parents brought their children in hopes of instilling some classic rock culture into the new generations pop music dominated playlists. Though they sang throaty, mildly garbled melodies that fans have come to know them for, most knew the lyrics by heart.
Opening act The Ben Miller Band got the crowd going with bluegrass stomp style rock, adding trombone and washboard solos for a feel-good sound that vibrated down to your bones. Rock and roll is throwing down on a Sunday evening with classic tunes and cold beer and temporarily forgetting the nine to five daily grind that many will inevitably wake up to.
One lucky fan was noted for his formidable beard, and rewarded with a little stage time and a slew of free ZZ Top albums. “You don’t have to take our job, you know.” Joked guitar player Billy Gibbons about the similar beard stylings of the fan.
The Crowd begged for an encore and the band delivered after a quick outfit change into glimmering red and black jackets that shined all the way in the nosebleeds. They jammed to popular tune “La Grange” and finished with their 1975 hit “Tush.” Old rock n’ roll souls and younger fans alike enjoyed the musical stylings of a band that has literally been playing for nearly half a century, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
- Got Me Under Pressure
- Waitin’ For The Bus
- Jesus Just Left Chicago
- Gimme All Your Lovin
- I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
- I Gotsta Get Paid
- Flyin’ High
- Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)
- Cheap Sunglasses
- My Head’s in Mississippi
- Sharp Dressed Man
- La Grange