ZZ Top

Elko Concerts Presents

ZZ Top

Wed, November 1, 2017

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

The Palace Theatre in Greensburg, PA

$89.00 - $400.00

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ZZ Top
ZZ Top
ZZ TOP a/k/a “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas,” lay undisputed claim to being the longest

running major rock band with original personnel intact and, in 2004, the Texas trio was inducted

into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, there are only three of them – Billy F Gibbons,

Dusty Hill, Frank Beard -- but it’s still a remarkable achievement that they’re still very much

together after almost 45 years of rock, blues, and boogie on the road and in the studio. “Yeah,”

says Billy, guitarist extraordinaire, “we’re the same three guys, bashing out the same three

chords.” With the release of each of their albums the band has explored new ground in terms of

both their sonic approach and the material they’ve recorded. ZZ TOP is the same but always


It was in Houston in the waning days of 1969 that ZZ TOP coalesced from the core of two rival

bands, Billy’s Moving Sidewalks and Frank and Dusty’s American Blues. The new group went on

to record the appropriately titled ZZ Top’s First Album and Rio Grande Mud that reflected their

strong blues roots. Their third, 1973’s Tres Hombres, catapulted them to national attention with

the hit “La Grange,” still one of the band’s signature pieces today. The song is unabashed

elemental boogie, celebrating the institution that came to be known as “the best little whorehouse

in Texas.” Their next hit was “Tush,” a song about, well, let’s just say the pursuit of “the good life”

that was featured on their Fandango! album, released in 1975. The band’s momentum and

success built during its first decade, culminating in the legendary “World Wide Texas Tour,” a

production that included a longhorn steer, a buffalo, buzzards, rattlesnakes and a Texas-shaped

stage. As a touring unit, they’ve been without peer over the years, having performed before

millions of fans through North America on numerous epochal tours as well as overseas where

they’ve enthralled audiences from Slovenia to Argentina, from Australia to Sweden, from Russia

to Japan and most points in between. Their iconography – beards, cars, girls and that magic

keychain – seems to transcend all bounds of geography and language.

Following a lengthy hiatus during which the individual members of the band traveled the world,

they switched labels (from British Decca’s London label to Warner Bros.) and returned with two

amazingly provocative albums, Deguello and El Loco. Their next release, Eliminator, was

something of a paradigm shift for ZZ TOP. Their roots blues skew was intact but added to the mix

were tech-age trappings that soon found a visual outlet with the nascent MTV. Suddenly, Billy,

Dusty and Frank were video icons, playing a kind of Greek chorus in videos that highlighted the

album’s three smash singles: “Gimme All Your Lovin’, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs.” The

melding of grungy guitar-based blues with synth-pop was seamless and continued with the follow-

up album Afterburner as they continued their chart juggernaut. ZZ TOP had accomplished the

impossible; they had moved with the times while simultaneously bucking ephemeral trends that

crossed their path. They had become more popular and more iconic without ever having to be

“flavor of the week.” They had become a certified rock institution, contemporary in every way, yet

still completely connected to the founding fathers of the genre.

They stayed with Warner for one more album, Recycler, released in 1990 and switched to RCA

where they debuted with Antenna and followed with Rhythmeen, XXX and Mescalero. Beyond

that, both a lavish four CD box set compilation, Chrome, Smoke & B.B.Q. and a two-CD

distillation of that package, Rancho Texicano, were released by Warner prior to The Complete

Studio Albums set.

In 2012, ZZ TOP unveiled LA FUTURA, their first studio album in nine years. Produced by Rick

Rubin and Billy F Gibbons, and released on American Recordings, it reflected the solid blues

inspiration that has powered the band since the very beginning with a contemporary approach

that underscored the group’s inclination to experiment and explore new sonic vistas. The album

included the widely lauded “I Gotsta Get Paid” that has become both a video and in-concert

sensation. ZZ Top’s rich history became the subject of a box set release the following year. ZZ

Top: The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 offered no fewer than 10 of the band’s most

lauded albums all with the original mixes restored.

ZZ TOP’s brand new career retrospective The Very Baddest spans the entire course of their

London, Warner Bros. and RCA years. Listeners can follow the evolution of the band’s sound

from the early 70s into the 00s on either a 40 track double CD or a 20 track single CD. Live at

Montreux 2013, just released on Eagle Rock Entertainment on both Blu-ray and DVD formats,

showcases their live act, leaving no doubt as to why they have been such a huge concert draw

for the last several decades. When it comes to the live experience, they’ve still got it.

The elements that keep ZZ TOP fresh, enduring and above the transitory fray can be summed up

in the three words of the band’s internal mantra: “Tone, Taste and Tenacity.” Of course, the three

members of the band have done their utmost to do their part in assuring that ZZ TOP prevails.

As genuine roots musicians, the members of the band have few peers. Billy is widely regarded

as one of American finest blues guitarists working in the rock idiom. His influences are both the

originators of the form – Muddy Waters, B.B. King, et al – as well as the British blues rockers who

emerged the generation before ZZ’s ascendance. In his early days of playing, no less an idol that

Jimi Hendrix singled him out for praise. Part mad scientist, part prankster, he’s a musical

innovator of the highest order and a certified “guitar god.” He’s a recurring small screen presence

in the hit TV series Bones in which he plays a bearded, gruff, rock guitarist. No type casting

problems for Billy.

Dusty has long had an affinity for rock’s origins; his earliest performances as a child included

Elvis songs convincingly performed. Not only is he a bass virtuoso in his own right, his vocal

prowess is awe-inspiring. He’s the lead voice you hear on “Tush” and his ferocious vocals are

heard, to great effect, on his idol Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” these days, often a concert

encore number and recorded by the band on Fandango! Good natured and diligent, Dusty is the

rock solid bottom of ZZ TOP.

Frank has also been keeping the beat in that great tradition. As both a roots and progressive

drummer, he has been acknowledged as key to the band’s powerful on-stage and in-studio

presence. He and Dusty, in their early years together, served as Lightnin’ Hopkins’ rhythm section

which, as Frank tells it, was a life changing experience. Frank, despite his last name, is the guy

in the band without a beard. But when you’re with him, you’re with a Beard. He’s a rockin’

paradox who provides the pulse of ZZ TOP.

ZZ TOP’s music is always instantly recognizable, eminently powerful, profoundly soulful and

100% Texas American in derivation. The band’s support for the blues is unwavering both as

interpreters of the music and preservers of its legacy. It was ZZ TOP that celebrated “founding

father” Muddy Waters by turning a piece of scrap timber than had fallen from his sharecropper’s

shack into a beautiful guitar, dubbed the “Muddywood.” This totem was sent on tour as a

fundraising focus for The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, site of Robert

Johnson’s famed “Crossroads” encounter with the devil. ZZ TOP’s support and link to the blues

remains as rock solid as the music they continue to play. They have sold millions of records over

the course of their career, have been officially designated as Heroes of The State of Texas, have

been referenced in countless cartoons and sitcoms and are true rock icons but, against all odds,

they’re really just doing what they’ve always done. They’re real and they’re surreal and they’re

Venue Information:
The Palace Theatre in Greensburg, PA
21 West Otterman Street
Greensburg, PA, 15601