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ZZ TOP GOES OVER THE TOP!
on July 21, 2008
I've read a lot of press releases for bands over the years and there have been times when I wondered if the writer was talking about the same band that I was listening to, and it seemed like the bio sheet was full of bravado and prone to exaggeration, using 'catch phrases' that were stretching the truth a bit. However, the one for this band's new DVD is dead on with it's descriptive terms; "Southern Fried Sizzle", "Fuzz Toned Hard Rock" and "Barnburner of Blues and Barrelhouse Boogie". That sums up ZZ Top to a T and I doubt anyone could come up with better. With their customized-and at times-fur-covered guitars, hot rod cars, top hats, cowboy boots and, of course, the beards, ZZ Top blasted their way into the world of rock and roll and has lasted for going on 40 years now, incredibly with the same line up of musicians. But then again, why tamper with perfection? A lot of us knew ZZ Top when they were in their 'dirty boogie' days of the early 1970's with "Tush" and we followed them through their commercially mega-successful 1980's and never once lost love of or respect for this dynamic trio. It's a toss up as to which is longer-their careers or their beards!
This DVD brilliantly captures the band's sizzling-hot live show, with 17 songs performed, including "Got Me Under Pressure", "Sharp Dressed Man", "Pearl Necklace", "Legs", "Rough Boy", "Cheap Sunglasses" and of course "Gimme All Your Lovin" and "Tush". Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill do their patented, synchronized guitar sway as drummer Frank Beard (yep, the guy with the shortest beard) effortlessly keeps the beat behind a drum kit tricked out with shocks, struts and a necking knob on the cymbal stand. For me, the best part of the DVD is when they play a scorching hot version of "Blue Jean Blues". This song has been my favorite ZZ Top song of all time and it brings up an interesting point; there are people out there that know ZZ Top only from their top 40 hits and don't realize just how blues-oriented the band really is, as this DVD attests to. That's not to say that rock and roll is left in the wings, this concert rocks hard!
Bonus features include a card game between the band members as they discuss the band's history, a behind the scenes look at concert day and photo shoot and most importantly, a live performance of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady". If I had to pick a two-word phrase to describe this DVD, it would be "totally awesome", or maybe "wickedly hot"! Heck, it's both.