I thought the ZZ Top show Tuesday at The Fox Theater was great.
Not everybody agrees, and that's okay.
There are many different types of ZZ Top fans. Some, like me, have been onboard since ZZ Top's first album. (By the way, the name of ZZ Top's first album is "ZZ Top's First Album." I find that wickedly cool)
Some folks became fans after ZZ Top's late seventies hiatus when the beards were grown and the Top embraced technology while simultaneously deconstructing the blues. Go back and listen to "Deguello." This is when Billy Gibbons became (in my opinion) a truly visionary guitar player. It's amazing to listen to what notes he DOESN'T play as much as the notes he does.
A bunch of people know ZZ Top only from their MTV salad days of goofy videos and mini skirt clad "ZZ Top Girls."
Not my favorite era but to each his own.
Tuesday night at The Fox, the Top played for about and hour and 15 minutes. The touched on a little bit of everything including several cuts from their soon to be released (Rick Rubin produced) "La Futura."
There were a couple of songs from most every album. But mostly there was an emphasis on the original ZZ Top sound filtered through the early 21st Century. This is most likely a reflection of their recent work with Rick Rubin.
While the beards remain, the mid eighties music-vid desert rat ghosts are long gone.
In their place are three dudes that make what they do look incredibly easy. To some it appeared that The Top were "phoning it in."
Do not confuse paring something down to it's essence as being easy.
These gentlemen have about, combined, 180 years expertise doing what they do. It's never ever going to look like they're "working."
And that's the coolest thing about ZZ Top. That's what it should look like. Simple magic.
So if you went to The Fox anticipating that sweet moment that "Double Back" from the Back To The Future movies wafted out over the crowd, I'm sorry you didn't get to hear that.
Go out and buy the CD. Not that ZZ Top needs the money anymore, but they will appreciate your business.