Review of ZZ Top Gig at Hammersmith Apollo
So when I think about ZZ Top, looking back in to the depths of the archives, I think Cars, girls and beards. Not just any beards, but big beards. No actually big BIG beards. Suffice to say these gents can grow some awesome face fungus. So after over 40 years in the business, can these classic American rock lords still cut it? (Ed – not another beard reference)
Well, in the transitory world that is contemporary rock music, where the genre is coming to terms with a changing distribution model that the internet brings. Sub genres fighting for attention in an ever growing backdrop of electronic music, its refreshing to see old timers such as ZZ Top still around.
Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a sad nostalgic performance, ZZ Top have been around for 45 years. Nobody lasts that long. These Texan rockers rocked a packed crowd with a set list that explored much of their back catalogue. The journey meandered through the dirty 1971 hit ‘Certified Blues‘ through to the absolutely polished MTV classic ‘Legs‘.
ZZ Top did undertake some covers, encompassing the likes of Jimi Hendrix through to ‘I Gotsa Get Paid‘ originally by rapper DJ DMD. However, the gig was made by the aspects that made their name. Simplistic lyrics. Simplistic orchestration and simplistic pleasures. The big screen supported this with visuals of girls, spark plugs and explosions. That was all just to support the opening song ‘Got Me Under Pressure‘ more was to follow.
The addition of women didn’t stop there. ‘Flyin’ High‘ saw more models enter only beaten in the distraction stakes by some dodgy looking Santa Claus characters on stage
The gig was accomplished. The gig was polished. The gig was well put together. ZZ Top were not afraid to take the mick, both of their clichés and themselves. The crowd played a massive role, singing along to some of the more well known lines. Of course, the gig was classic ZZ Top and explains why the band are still going strong, nearly half a century on from their formation.
If you get the chance, go and see them live. You will not regret it.