No matter what generation you’re from, there are times when it just feels good to get your '80s on. And if you’re a Texan — especially a Houstonian — there’s no better way to experience pure, undiluted '80s rock than to inject some live ZZ Top into your life.
Luckily for 59,142 fans at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Tuesday night, those Houston boys still know how to deliver an old-fashioned, high-energy rock concert to their hometown.
While several decades might have passed since ZZ Top brought their decidedly Texas twang-infused rock to MTV — back during those days of old when the M actually stood for Music — the band is not only still touring and recording. They even hold the record for longest performing rock band with the original members. They used that experienced to light up the revolving rodeo stage Tuesday night, sometimes literally, as what rocking '80s concert didn’t also include a killer light show?
Those ultra-sharp dressed, bearded men, bassist Dusty Hill and guitarist Billy Gibbons, took the stage in shiny rhinestone studded jackets ready to vibrate NRG Stadium to their rocking will. While drummer Frank Beard still has the power to beat the house down, he was more bluntly dressed in T-shirt and jeans, looking a little like he just rolled out of drummer bed.
The band might have come to international fame in the '80s, but they definitely know their way around 20th-century music and their set seemed a sampling of multiple decades of great Americana tunes.
They opened the concert with “Act Naturally," a Johnny Russell song first recorded by Buck Owens. Midway through, they dug even deeper to hit American musical roots with a growling version of the old Merle Travis folk song standard “Sixteen Tons” and then launched into one of the highlights of the night, “Folsom Prison Blues,” with Dusty Hill practically channeling Johnny Cash.
They wouldn’t disappoint fans of their own hits, of course, and took the crowd for a ride on down to “La Grange.” They spent their own sweet musical time admiring a fine pair of “Legs” (especially ones she knows what to do with), and gave ample argument for the aesthetic power of a good pair of “Cheap Sunglasses.”
When all was sung and done, what these rockers really wanted, and what the crowd couldn’t get enough of, was just some “Tush.” And as ZZ Top rode out of the rodeo, not in the standard SUV, but in a horse drawn wagon, they likely left all generations in agreement that finding some "Tush" really isn't asking for much.
Waiting for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin’
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
Sharp Dressed Man