ZZ Top at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion – Boston, MA

Photos and Review by Ilya Mirman
Show photos HERE
The list of major bands going strong after 47 years together – no breakups, no personnel changes, no drama – is very, very short.  In fact, I know of just one: ZZ Top.  Formed in 1969, the “Little Ol’ Band from Texas” has been delivering original, blues-inspired rock to multiple generations of fans.
On a perfect August night at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston’s Seaport district, ZZ Top opened the show with their 1983 hit, Got Me Under Pressure.  Never ones to forget their roots, they circled back to Waitin’ for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago, from 1973’s Tres Hombres – their third album and arguably one that put them on the map.
With 15 studio albums, hit singles, multi-platinum and diamond-certified albums, I suspect it’s not trivial to come up with a set list ideal for every fan.  But they sure did come close.  The set spanned over 40 years, from Tres Hombres (1973) to La Futura (2012), and they even snuck in covers from Jimi and Elvis, and blues legends Tennessee Ernie Ford and Robert Petway.
As a concert photographer, I was in heaven: the band was lit perfectly and is a visual feast – the characters themselves, the amp wall and drum set – whether the camera’s target was Billy Gibbons’ ring, Dusty Hill’s boots, Frank Beard’s drum set, or the entire stage through a wide angle lens.
After ripping through a 15-song set that ended with the hit Legs, the band came back for two encores, doing killer, inimitable renditions of La Grange, Tush, and Jailhouse Rock – the latter with help from opener Robert Randolph.
ZZ Top is in the midst of a nationwide tour over the next 3 months – catch them if you can! http://www.zztop.com/tour
Set List

  1. Got Me Under Pressure
  2. Waitin’ for the Bus
  3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  4. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  5. Pincushion
  6. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
  7. I Gotsta Get Paid
  8. Rough Boy
  9. Foxy Lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
  10. Catfish Blues (Robert Petway cover)
  11. Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford cover)
  12. Cheap Sunglasses
  13. Chartreuse
  14. Sharp Dressed Man
  15. Legs
  16. La Grange
  17. Tush
  18. Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover) (with Robert Randolph)

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