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ZZ Top – Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010-10-24

2010-10-28

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I saw ZZ Top for the first time this past Sunday, and I just keep asking myself: Why haven’t I gone to see them before??? In short, they were awesome!

The venue is standing room only, but since it appeared to be a sold out show, they had opened up the balcony, so we secured a great spot up there. Now, I knew exactly what to expect song-wise, cause it appears that ZZ Top has been playing the EXACT same set every night for the past year or so. Really too bad for fans that want to follow the band for a few shows in hopes of catching some rarities, but for someone like me who hasn’t seen them before it didn’t matter one bit.

The Texans started out with Got Me Under Pressure, followed by the fantastic combo Waitin’ for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago. The latter one is my favorite ZZ Top song, and it sounded great. I was struck by how tight they sounded, but I guess that’s what happens after playing with the same guys for 40 years. Unfortunately, bassist Dusty Hill was having problems with his monitors during the first couple of songs, so he would constantly go to the side of the stage to get them fixed, and wasn’t totally focused.

Before the blues covers in the set, Billy had a Swedish woman come up on stage and do a little predetermined banter with him, to which Billy would answer with some Swedish phrases. He also had the word öl, meaning beer in Swedish, written on the back of his Gretsch Billy-Bo guitar. He ended this little bit by saying that in order for him to play the blues, he needed his blues hat, upon which two lightly-dressed girls entered the stage to deliver his hat. Billy kissed them both on the cheek before launching in to Future Blues.

I really like My Head’s in Mississippi and it was a shame that we only got one verse of it before they segued in to I Need You Tonight. As those of you who play guitar know, Billy Gibbons uses a lot of pinched harmonics in his playing, something that can be quite difficult to achieve unless you set the gain really high on your amp. Well, in I Need You Tonight it became quite apparent just how much gain Mr. Gibbons use, when he gave away his guitar pick to a guy in the audience and continued playing the entire outro using only his left hand – no strumming at all!

After this Billy said “Where’s my friend?”, and a picture of Jimi Hendrix appeared on the screen. They then proceeded to play an awesome version of Hey Joe, which Billy ended by playing various Hendrix riffs!

One of the absolute highlights was Brown Sugar from their (not-so) cleverly titled debut album ZZ Top’s First Album. During the mellow first half of the song, it was just Billy Gibbons and his guitar lit by strings of light bulbs above the stage. This was a very nice effect and it made me wish I could see ZZ Top in a small bar – what an experience that must be!

I found it very interesting that both Dusty Hill and Billy used the same instruments for almost the entire concert. Billy didn’t change guitars until Just Got Paid, when he had his guitar tech bring him his Gibson Goldtop. The guitar nerd in me assumes that the only reason he changed guitar at all was because he played the song in an open tuning, which suits the slide playing much better. By the way, Just Got Paid sounded awesome! And to think I only became aware of that song earlier this year when Joe Bonamassa played it as his set closer!

Then it was time for the crowd pleasing main set closers of Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man, and Legs. I must say that I’m not the biggest fan of ZZ Top’s 80’s catalogue, however, these songs are fun when enjoyed in a live setting. And you just have to love Dusty’s and Billy’s synchronized moves in Legs, not to mention the fuzzy guitar and bass, just like in the video.

The encore started with La Grange, the ultimate ZZ Top song. It seems like they’ve been trying to write La Grange II ever since they recorded it in 1973. Anyway, the song sounded great, just as expected, and Billy and Dusty had changed in to red sparkly jackets for the encore. The concert ended with Tush, and Dusty on vocals. Billy immediately went for a cigarette that his guitar tech had to light for him. The concert was just a little over an hour and a half, and I could easily see them doing a full two hour set. Why not end the show with playing Tres Hombres back to back? But the show was great, and I would recommend anyone to go see ZZ Top. Hopefully they’ll come around again soon, I’ve heard there’s a new album in the works for 2011…

Thanks to my wife Irma for the awesome videos and pictures!

Setlist:

Start: 20.00

01. Got Me Under Pressure
02. Waitin’ for the Bus
03. Jesus Just Left Chicago
04. Pincushion
05. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
06. Future Blues (Willie Brown cover)
07. Rock Me Baby (B.B. King cover)
08. Cheap Sunglasses
09. My Head’s in Mississippi / I Need You Tonight
10. Hey Joe (Billy Roberts cover)
11. Brown Sugar
12. Party On The Patio
13. Just Got Paid
14. Gimme All Your Lovin’
15. Sharp Dressed Man
16. Legs

Encore:
17. La Grange / Sloppy Drunk / Bar-B-Q
18. Tush

End: 21.36

Pictures

Videos

5 Responses to “ZZ Top – Annexet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010-10-24”

  1. Don says:

    Awesome! Look out for a big heap of envy coming your way! ;) And yes, you’re obviously a huge guitar nerd… Everybody should see ZZ Top at least once in their lives!

  2. Daniel says:

    Yes, you should definitely try and catch them the next time they’re in Deutschland! :D

  3. Great vids! It’s the next best thing to being there!

  4. Lisa says:

    Nice review. Thanks! :)

  5. Daniel says:

    Thanks Lisa! :)

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