Photos and review: ZZ Top at the Paramount Theatre in Denver - Reverb

Live review: ZZ Top @ the Paramount Theatre

In the “battle of the beard” in rock music, few bands can stand up against the likes of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. Along with their drummer, the beardless Frank Beard, the trio takes the title, hands down.

The pair of Gibbons and Hill look like two characters Ulysses would have encountered on his journey home. The three are ancient messengers of rock ‘n’ roll that if you played your cards right, might give you the keys to “cool,” and to their hot rod.

The 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees span four decades of performing as all original members. ZZ Top can be credited for pioneering the music video, landing eight Billboard top 40 hits, and tirelessly preserving Chicago and Texas-style blues. The group made a stop at the Paramount Theatre last night on the cusp of releasing its 15th studio album reportedly being produced by fellow “beard man” Rick Rubin.

The show opened the with the 1983 hit “Got Me Under Pressure” followed by a smattering of blues songs in “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and the Jimi Hendrix cover, “Hey Joe” during which a giant projection of the late guitarist image appeared on a large screen. Gibbons’ one-handed “hammer-on” guitar technique has never been better as witnessed last night whether he is playing his first ever guitar, a Sunburst Gibson Melody Maker, or the “Fuzzy Explorer” guitar made famous in the groups 1984 music video for “Legs.”

Set list:

Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ For The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Pin Cushion
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
Future Blues
(Willie Brown cover)
Cheap Sunglasses
My Head’s In Mississippi (Intro)
Hey Joe
(Jimi Hendrix cover)
Brown Sugar
Party On The Patio
Just Got Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin’
Sharp Dressed Man
Legs

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Evan Semón is a Denver freelance writer and photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of his work.

Michael McGrath is a Denver area photographer. His work is available at Twist and Shout Records. Visit his website.

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  • Onoss

    How was the crowd? I wanted to go but as it was a week night could not make it as I am sure many people were in the same boat.