Niagara Gazette — The set was short, just like the bands guitar licks, but ZZ Top ended the 2013 Tuesday’s in the Park series on a high note, with Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock.”
There was a massive crowd of people and insects in attendance for the final show of what has been by all accounts the best season yet. If you were there, you will forever remember the small bugs that people were annoyed with throughout the wonderful opening set by The Sheepdogs.
By the time ZZ Top hit the stage at 8 p.m. with “Got Me Under Pressure,” the little gnats ran for cover and fans could sit back and enjoy a great set from the little ol’ band from Texas.
What amazes me about ZZ Top every time I see them is how big their sound is with only three guys. Just two weeks ago, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed on the same stage with nearly three times the amount of musicians onstage, and yet ZZ Top still managed to produce a sound that was equal in magnitude.
Much of that is due to the fact that Billy Gibbons, Frank Hill and Dusty Beard have been playing together longer than any group currently touring, only Rush is even a close second. The three of them demonstrate an innate sense of what the other band members are going to do, sometimes it’s subtle, and other times it’s overly dramatic, but at all times the members of ZZ Top are working in tandem.
If we are going to be completely honest, most ZZ Top songs follow the same formula, and even though they skipped at least one fan favorite, “Cheap Sunglasses,” it is hard to complain since so many other songs sound similar.
Nevertheless, that is what makes bands like AC/DC, Boston, and ZZ Top so appealing, they are the Applebee’s of rock music, always consistent.
At this stage of their career, ZZ Top still has a lot going for them, including that old school boogie blues thing and a healthy dose of showmanship combined with enough titillation to keep the guys interested.
They also manage to make it all look easy, but if you pay close attention to what is happening musically, you will soon realize that you are in the presence of genuine rock hall of famers. There were many times throughout the evening I sat back and watched Billy Gibbons work the fret board like a master craftsman.
Now it was sad that the final show of the season was the shortest set by a headliner, second only to Joan Jett’s one hour and 15 minutes in June. I say that because there is always a sense of sadness with the end of this series, which marks the end of summer.
With this being my final review of the season, I want to take the opportunity to thank all of my readers for coming along for the ride this season. I also have to thank everyone at Artpark for their hospitality, my evenings started with a greeting from wonderful box office personal and continued with handshakes and welcomes from all of the security staff and vendors. They were as great as the music.
My final thanks goes to Maria Hayes, who makes this coverage possible. Maria epitomizes the term “media friendly,” and makes covering these shows a labor of love.Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.