ZZ Top, Jeff Beck | Ravinia Festival | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thu., Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $38-$100
Canceled due to injury. Throughout a career 45 years long (with no lineup changes since 1970), ZZ Top has embodied cool, amassing a platinum-spangled catalog of bluesy boogie rock like it’s no big thing. Guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard (the one without the beard, ironically), haven’t let success change them: the rods have always been hot, the innuendos have always been shameless, and the shtick has never worn thin. ZZ Top’s breakout LP, 1973’s Tres Hombres, and their best-selling album, 1983’s Eliminator, are distinctly different: the former is straight-up Texas-fried guitar rock, hard on the blues and tough like a stiff shot of whiskey, while the latter is a product of the decade that gave us synth rock and MTV, with a pumped-up pop shine and an exaggerated attention to visual style. But “Waiting for the Bus” (have mercy!) has the very same killer licks and easy swagger as “Sharp Dressed Man,” minus the 80s infusion and the choreographed struts and shimmies. ZZ Top recently released a concert video shot last year at Montreux, and even though a jazz festival in Switzerland is one of the most un-Texas things on the planet, the DVD is still a good way to see a trio of dudes in their mid-60s outcool whatever the hell is filling arenas these days. —Kevin Warwick
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