ZZ Top Live At The Pacific Amphitheatre – Costa Mesa

ZZ Top

There is only one band in the history of rock and roll that has played together for forty straight years without any other members. Sunday night they rolled into the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa and put on a show that lived up to their legacy. ZZ Top is rock royalty. This band has seen it all throughout their career but still finds a way to appear like they’re playing together for the first time.

Lead guitarist Billy Gibbons was full of blues fire Sunday night as he tore into the opening number “Under Pressure” and got the night started off hot! His almost telepathic rapport with his trusty side kick, bassist Dusty Hill, was on display early in the second number “Waiting For The Bus” and its companion piece “Jesus Just Left Chicago.”  Sometimes, when you go see a rock show, it can feel stale and a little too calculated. And, if you have ever seen ZZ Top live, you know they have their shtick; they’ve been doing their little moves for years. However, even though this is a part of their show, not once did it feel like they were mailing it in. Quite the opposite. They seemed relaxed, happy, and dialed in, especially when Billy Gibbons attached the bottle neck slide to his finger and ripped into “Just Got Paid.” His always crunchy sound was full of fire and his playing was joyful and clean.

The set list was a fair representation, even including “Brown Sugar” from their first album. There was also a nice little tribute to the man that claimed Billy Gibbons was his favorite guitarist and who took the boys from Texas under his wing when they were just starting out. Billy Gibbons requested the overhead video screens to throw up a picture of his buddy and then, when the photo appeared of Jimi Hendrix, exploded into “Hey Joe.”

After the famous Eliminator album trilogy of “Gimme All Your Lovin,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs,” they took a breather. The encore consisted of a pulse-pounding version of “La Grange” with Gibbons pouring all he had into this one, extending the monster hit into a guitar tour de force. “Tush” closed the night with everyone on their feet enjoying the close to two hours of rock like only this little old band from Texas can deliver.

ZZ Top has always impressed me–these three guys make a hell of a racket! And, Billy Gibbons has always been my favorite guitarist. So, it was a true thrill to see them so full of life, tearing through their version of the blues, still as explosive, still as vibrant, still smoking, just like they did back in 1980 when I first saw them.

One Response to ZZ Top Live At The Pacific Amphitheatre – Costa Mesa
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    September 1, 2010 | 10:28 pm

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