Upstate Food Truck Festival: ZZ Top
6th Ward Booster Club Fields - Oneonta - Oneonta, NY
The sturdy and gruff, Rock n Roll Hall of Fame trio, ZZ Top continues to score colorful hits. Hailing from Houston, Texas, ZZ Top is led by the vocalist and guitarist Billy Gibbons, along with the vocalist and bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard.
With five decades of blues and boogie rock under their belt, the band has successfully been blending contemporary styles with southern rock. They have released 15 studio albums till now, latest one hitting the shelves in 2012. Titled “La Futura”, it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and featured some of the best music by the trio.
Currently on their 2017 Tonnage Tour, ZZ Top announced some fresh dates and Texas gets the best deal with a total of eight shows. ZZ Top tickets for the new concert engagements are raking in a huge demand and like always a full house is expected.
Early Years & Influences
The fall of one band led to the rise of another. In 1969, Billy Gibbons parted ways with his garage band Moving Sidewalks and Dusty Hill bid farewell to American Blues. Along with Frank Beard, the trio bonded over their love for all things Texas and shared passion for rock and blues.
After a brief, bumpy start with other musicians – Lanier Greig, Dan Mitchell and Billy Ethridge, the Gibbons-Beard-Hill version of ZZ Top was formed. Initially they performed only in Texas and were able to build a loyal following. Taking the stage as a spirited blues and guitar-driven band, the trio gained credibility and soon started selling ZZ Top tour tickets.
London Records signed them in 1970 and it was a huge achievement for ZZ Top. Also the home of the music legends the Rolling Stones and John Mayall, Gibbons saw the deal with the label as a major plus. And it indeed worked in their favor as following the release of their debut album “ZZ Top’s First Album” and later “Rio Grande Mud” in 1972, the Rolling Stones invited them as an opening act on their tour.
The band owes a lot of credit to their early influences that helped them stay true to their roots. Reading a chapter from the musical style of the blues master Freddie King and deeply inspired by the poetic prowess of Lightnin’ Hopkins, ZZ Top took a powerful, hard rocking approach to blues. John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters are among their other influences that encouraged them to come out in the music scene with both barrels and an attitude that was devilishly funny but also superior.
ZZ Top Breakthrough & Notable Albums
Before the release of their “Tres Hombres”, ZZ Top were just three bearded men from Texas who could perform really well. But when the album came out in 1973, they were raised to the status of global superstars.
Proving to be a commercial breakthrough, “Tres Hombres” cracked through the music charts and produced hits like “Master of Sparks”, “La Grange” and “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”. Representing the classic southern rock sound, the lyrics offered a cheeky sense of humor and treated the listeners to infectious stripped-down tracks.
At a time when other southern rock bands were fading in popularity, ZZ Top remained relevant by evolving their sound. They incorporated electronic enhancements and worked with synthesizers to cater to the changing needs of the fans.
In 1983, “Eliminator” hit the shelves and it was a huge success. Their top selling album yet, it crossed 10 million album sales in the US and reached the top 10 on Billboard 200. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 39 on its list of “100 Best Albums of the Eighties”. The tracks “Gimme All Your Lovin’”, “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man” stood out as party anthems and are among the most requested songs even today whenever the band performs live.
By embracing sequencers and synths, ZZ Top created a sound that appealed to the masses and made the hard-core boogie fans go crazy. Accompanied by chic music videos and flashy lyrics, “Eliminator” was all what everyone could talk about.
In 1990, ZZ Top once again returned to their roots. “Recycler” touched upon the classic boogie and blues sound, even paying home to the blues legend Muddy Waters. The song “My Head’s in Mississippi” was a tribute to him. Five more albums followed after that, latest one being “La Futura”.
ZZ Top Tour Tickets
In their ongoing stellar career, ZZ Top has always been a huge concert draw. Almost all of their albums have been supported with a headlining tour and these Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers make sure that every penny spent on their tickets is well worth it.
Dressed in flashy outfits and their signature glasses, these long-bearded men brought a lot of Texas on their tours. Their stage design included all the Texan elements such as Longhorn cattle, ranch tools and haystacks. Even though all three members are in their late 60s, they still manage to create an electrifying ambiance. ZZ Top’s brand of Texas-infused blues rock keeps the crowd on its feet and from the start till the end its nothing but a rock n roll party.
The trio recently extended their 2017 Tonnage Tour but some dates have been postponed due to Dusty Hill’s ailment. The rescheduled dates will be announced soon, so keep an eye out for the fresh itinerary. The band has been treating the fans to some tribute songs as well and they even jammed on Elvis Presley’s hit “Jailhouse Rock”. Make sure you have your dance shoes on as “La Grange” and “Tush” are also on the setlist.