10th July 2019
ZZ Top - “Goin’ 50” Tour
Happy Birthday ZZ TOP! This year a legend celebrates its 50th birthday. That means fifty years of beards, Blues, hot sleds and crashing guitars. Once again “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” was in town and made a stopover in the Grand-Duchy on their anniversary tour - and over thousands of fans in the crowded Rockhal were part of the celebration.
ZZ TOP is an American Rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has, since 1970, consisted of vocalist/ guitarist Billy Gibbons (the band’s leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), bassist/ vocalist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard. The band released its first album, ‘ZZ Top’s First Album’, in 1971. Beginning with blues-inspired Rock, the trio later incorporated New Wave, Punk Rock and Dance-Rock by using synthesizers. The band’s top-selling album is their 1983 release ‘Eliminator’, which sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. By 2014, ZZ TOP had sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Music & Performance
To a certain extent, looking old is the trademark of the “little old band from Texas”. In the videos you can still see the unbelievable coolness of the Gandalf-beards swinging synchronously to the stoic guitar boogie. In addition sunglasses, beautiful women, fast cars. Apparently, nothing’s changed in the last 50 years. On the stage of the Rockhal there were only one drum set and two amplifier walls, a keyboard that disappeared after a short use, and two micro stands in front. But they shined shrill in neon colours. The trio strolled the Rockhal for ‘Got me under pressure’: Bill Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill with their famous facial hair and hats, drummer Frank Beard is shaved contrary to his name.
From the beginning the sound was clear, powerful and as desert dry as Boogie and Blues demanded. This was followed by a sluggish, lead-heavy ‘I Thank You’. In ‘Waitin’ for The Bus’ the first detailed proof of Billy Gibbons’ guitar arts followed. But really inspiring was the unpretentious, pure appearance of the band. Well, there was a sparkling starry sky in the back of the stage every now and then. Otherwise no frippery, no make-up: only the music speaks. Of course there were still the guitars from the ‘Legs’ video, which were covered with sheep’s wool, but the big show didn’t take place anyway. Gibbons changes to slide guitar, Hill to keyboard but nothing else great happened. Like the band, the audience was grooving in more and more. The crowd-pleaser ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’’ came relatively early in the set, as does ‘I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide’. But that’s not all!
The Escher audience therefore experienced a healthy mixture of great hits and hidden pearls. Especially strong are ‘My Head’s in Mississippi’, ‘Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers’ and ‘Just Got Paid’. Then the ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ came around the corner and there the audience started to cavort for the first time, and the concert became a lot of fun towards the end. Of course ZZ TOP also played ‘La Grange’ and ‘Tush’ as the encore. With a short final bow, performance was done. But then the three came out again and played ‘Jailhouse Rock’. And then it was over… after an hour and twenty minutes. Some thought it was too short and not spectacular at all. But hey: they’re not the youngest any more.
01. Got Me Under Pressure
02. I Thank You (Sam & Dave cover)
03. Waitin’ for the Bus
04. Jesus Just Left Chicago
05. Gimme All Your Lovin’
06. Pearl Necklace
07. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
08. I Gotsta Get Paid
09. My Head’s in Mississippi
10. Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis cover)
11. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
12. Just Got Paid
13. Sharp Dressed Man
15. La Grange
17. Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover)
Total: 7 / 10
All Pictures by Elena Arens