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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ask Bobby #12
September 25, 2023

ZZ Top rocks the Orpheum, Boston

“Rule number 1- no beer during the gospel songs-Rule number 2 -no gospel songs-“ZZ TOP is here in the house” bellowed Billy Gibbons with the legendary guitar player of ZZ Top and along with fellow players and musical “Family”; Dusty Hill on Bass and Frank Beard (the only one without a beard) once again as they always do rocked the Orpheum Theater with their signature sound in that amazing style of hard rock blues.

Although they have slowed down just a little, this power trio from Houston Texas has never let a crowd down. After losing a summer tour with Aerosmith due to Steven Tyler’s injury, they managed (probably due to overwhelming demand by their fans) to go out and tour solo.

For over forty years and who pride themselves on still having its original band members, (many bands that have been around this long have gone through at least 3 incarnations), ZZ Top played over two hours covering songs that took us on a tour of their musical history but featured a little different twist by throwing in a few musical than previous tours.

Opening up with “You Got Me under Pressure” from their huge 1983 album, Eliminator was just the beginning of future hits to come. The aggressive determined guitar of Gibbons combined with the seductive baseline by Hill merging with Beard’s astonishing drumming is so explosive tune that it could be considered The Perfect Rock and Roll Storm. The Audience was ready for more.

Although there is a comedic side of ZZ Top considering their mike stands look like chrome exhaust pipes, they have fur guitars and women in very short black dresses greet them on stage, they are serious about their music. Without hesitation and by no means rejection, the crowd welcomed a compilation of tunes that reflected Tops earlier days, and some 14 albums ago. Rootsy blues is the original agenda of this band and songs like “Mexican Bird” and “Nationwide” gave a nice bluesy twist to the usual set. Another treat was a tribute to Jimi Hendrix and his famous string warbling by playing “Foxy Lady” using flaming red strobes and a picture of Hendrix as the backdrop.

ZZ Top continued their set with hits like “Cheap Sunglasses” the hard bass line party Song from the 1979 Deguello and “Party on the Patio” from the 1981 El Loco. With the explosive triplicate of “Gimme all your Lovin” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” from Eliminator it would be the perfect ending to a great show. But the perfect ending didn’t end there. After leaving the stage for less than 5 minutes they came back with intensity with a three song encore that concluded with three of their biggest hits of all time including “La Grange” and “Tush”.

I’m glad after all these years that ZZ Top is still out and putting on great shows and even though they are not putting live cows on stage or dropping dummies out of the ceiling, they are just as fun and rocking as ever.

About the Contributor
Bonnie Godas served as the arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: Spring 2009; 2009-2010