They’re bad. They’re nationwide. When that “Little Ol’ Band from Texas” hits town on Saturday, March 14, be prepared for high velocity sounds in high gear. Bringing its ornery brand of cars, girls and blues boogie to the Electric Factory, ZZ Top lays claim to being the longest-running major rock band with its original band members intact.
This classic power trio delivers song after song from its storied five-decade career. The Reverend Billy F. Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are like synchronized swimmers: They’ve got the routine down pat. Their tautness comes from playing together all these years—and having fun doing it.
Thanks to a set list that includes great throwbacks like “Waiting for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “Cheap Sunglasses,” the electricity hits from the moment they hit the stage with the powerhouse “Got Me Under Pressure.” As a nod to the band’s roots, it’s likely the audience will hear a Muddy Waters tune—or a song from another blues great. (The band’s name is a tribute to B.B. King.) For this tour, they’ve been regaling audiences with a rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” so be prepared to see why Gibbons is one of America’s finest blues-rock guitarists.
The boys suffered a few setbacks this past year, including a nasty fall taken by bassist Hill that injured his hip and eventually prompted a tour cancelation. Up and running again, the ZZ Top began in earnest this month, and Philly gets the band early in the tour. In fact, this is one of the postponed dates. Show opener the Ben Miller Band should add a fun dimension to the evening with banjo, electric spoons, a one-string washtub bass and more.
Three words sum up the ZZ Top mantra: tone, taste and tenacity.
MGK Presents ZZ TOP
The Electric Factory
Saturday, March 14