Live at Montreux 2013 (Eagle Vision)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Aug. 8, 2014
ZZ TopLive at Montreux 2013 (Eagle Vision)
Ever wondered what's behind Billy Gibbons' not-so-cheap sunglasses? Eighty minutes Live at Montreux 2013 gets right up in the guitarist's fuzzy mug, the green buds on his skull cap poking out from under his regulation sombrero like cannabis rivulets. ZZ Top on Blu-ray breaches all kinds of interpersonal space. Gibbons and co-front furry Dusty "Get a load of those choppers" Hill trade verses on the opening "Got Me Under Pressure" as you scope the Longhorn brands on both their axes. When Frank Beard hits his oil derrick intro to "Gimme All Your Lovin'" you'll marvel at his bleached, tawny longevity. The 45-year-old Houston trio remains a living piece of Lone Star history, like the Alamo, Armadillo, and Austin had they not succumbed to manifest destiny. Tribute to late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs prompts the band stretching out with Austinites Van Wilks and Mike Flanigin (see "Playback," July 18), while newer material from the most recent La Futura – Houstonian screw "I Gotsta Get Paid," and the "Tush" rebooty "Chartreuse" – melt in with swamp standards "Waitin' for the Bus"/"Jesus Just Left Chicago" and "My Head's in Mississippi." Gibbons' perforated picking on "Pincushion" draws blood, and though Hill taking lead vocal duties on "I Loved a Woman" evokes his mom's refrain, "Let Dusty sing one!" (revisit "ZZ Top," Dec. 27, 2013), his partner's high register on "Legs" still chills. Encores "Tube Snake Boogie," "La Grange" ... Live at Montreux 2013, best house concert ever.