ZZ Top

Live Shots

Roky Erikson (l) and Billy Gibbons backstage
Roky Erikson (l) and Billy Gibbons backstage (Photo By Andy Langer)

ZZ Top

Frank Erwin Center, June 13 When you're ZZ Top, you don't need a new album to sell an arena show. And when you're ZZ Top and have a new album, it doesn't need to be released in order to tour. That's the advantage of being one of the great jukebox bands in rock history: Even if the label yanks your product, the decades provide enough hits to keep your fans rockin'. On the fading notes of "Voodoo Chile," openers Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble left the audience primed for the celebrated blues-rock of That Little Ol' Band From Texas. Strolling onstage, the beards (guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill) sported white 10-gallon hats and sequined burgundy velvet serapes with sparkly gold trim, while the beardless (drummer Frank Beard) dressed somewhat more subdued, saving his flash for beating the drumheads that featured fire-breathing skulls. Opener "Gimme All Your Lovin'," from the 20-year-old Eliminator (!), heralded the band, and 1994's "Pincushion" hinted that the set list might be moving into their contemporary oeuvre, but they blasted into the past with "Waitin' for the Bus" and "Precious and Grace" from Tres Hombres and "Manic Mechanic" from Deguello. And they played. There's no question that ZZ Top is a three-chord pony, and the tunes spanning more than three decades were reigned in by that. Yet Gibbons & Co. drove "Buck Nekkid" and "Piece" from the unreleased Mescalero like a wild ride before steering back into autopilot crowd-pleasers like "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers," "Tube Snake Boogie," and "Sharp Dressed Man." The encore trifecta of "Legs," "Tush," and "La Grange" was nothing short of ecstatic, and when TLOBFT strutted offstage, they left the collective body of Austin sporting a tattoo reading, "Property of ZZ Top."

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