ZZ Top Gives Arizona
State Fair Crowd Some Lovin
Original image by E Photos and used under a Creative Commons License.
With Hits That Transcend Time And Genre, That Little Ol’ Band From Texas Proves Once Again That It Just Might Be Among The Best Of All Time With A Memorable Show At The Arizona State Fair
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
Oct. 15, 2013 — Masked behind all of their antics and innuendo — not to mention the lengthy trademark beards and Wayfarers — it’s easy to forget that Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard of legendary bluesy southern rock band ZZ Top are three well established and prominent musicians.
Seeing them live and in person is definitely a good reminder.
The rodeo clown-princes of Rock ‘n Roll brought their electric blues and country rock La Futura Tour to the Arizona State Fair Oct. 13 to round out opening weekend festivities and it is pretty certain that Phoenix loves ZZ Top. There was a huge turnout of ZZ Top fans to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Although it was definitely not a sell out — few state fair shows are — but having 8,000 to 10,000 fans is absolutely nothing to scoff at.
The three sharp-dressed men kicked off the fair in style, by playing an hour and a half of ZZ Top’s biggest hits and did it with some flashy sequined jackets and their signature not-so-cheap sunglasses. Besides just matching in shades, Billy and Dusty were also rocking with matching, custom purple, Fender guitar and bass.
Their sound was as tight as a group that has been together for 40 years should be. Every sound made by their instruments went perfectly along with that of their bandmates and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum crowd appreciated the Texas tunes and reciprocated by cheering their heads off.
The mean Texas three-piece opened with “Got Me Under Pressure,” off of their most well known studio album, 1983’s Eliminator, and wasted no time breaking into their signature “dance moves,” which includes swaying back and forth together with the necks of their guitars, and “squashing the bug” in unison.
After “Got Me Under Pressure,” they went into “Waitin’ For The Bus,” then, “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” followed by probably their biggest hit, “Gimme All Your Lovin.” At this point the crowd really got into it.
“Pincushion, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” and “Certified Blues,” came next before the three men in the tub played the first cover of the night, “Foxy Lady,” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was at this part of the night that Billy reminded the crowd that ZZ Top had been playing the Veterans Memorial Coliseum for four decades, “the same three guys, and the same three chords,” said Gibbons, before breaking into “My Heads In Mississippi,” replacing the word “Mississippi,” with the word “Arizona.”
Next up was ZZ Top’s ode to that “sweet liquor,” according to Gibbons, “Chartreuse,” followed by the band’s biggest hits, “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs.”
For “Legs,” they really pulled out all the stops, and traded in their fancy purple axes for white, fur-covered guitars while giving the crowd more of their signature dance moves.
The band left the stage for a moment before their planned encore of “La Grange,” and “Tush.” But even with the obvious plan, some of the ZZ Top fans in attendance were going to force an encore anyway.
The band left the stage after “Tush,” but was compelled (planned) to do one more encore: Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” which Dusty sang lead on.
It seems as though every year the Arizona State Fair will not be able to top itself with its concert series but lo and behold, the fair and their promoter Danny Zelisko always find a way.
Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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