Thursday, July 3, 2008

DVD review: ZZ Top Live from Texas

So, the moment a large fraction of the people here at blog has been wainting for, is finally here: ZZ Top has finally released a live dvd! Recorded on their home turf in Dalls, this DVD covers nearly 40 years of hits and rock classics.

The disc starts of with Under Pressure, a great show starter. The Eliminator album is represented with nearly all the MTV classic video hits, Gimme All Your Loving, Sharp Dressed Man and Legs, with fury guitars and all. And it's a fine mix of old and new material, including my all-time favorite encore: Tube Snake Boogie, La Grange and Tush! Yeah, they even threw in Sloppy Drunk Blues and Bar-b-q in the La Grange medley! For most of the show, Billy plays a custom white, pin-striped Gretch Jupiter Thunderbird, a gutiar he designed together with Bo Diddley. But I have to admit, that guitar doesn't have the greatest tone of all the guitars in mr. Gibbons arsenal. It got much better when he pulled out a custom shop goldtop Les Paul for the slide fused Just Got Paid and the Bolin, reversed neck Esquire type guitar for the three encore numbers. Talk about tone!

The sound is great, the picture crystal clear, but I think it changes camera angles a bit too often. Would loved to see longer segments by one camera, although this is no biggie.

Bonus material:
The band discussing their history and remembering some moments from their 40 year long carrer, a sermon by rev. Billy G (intro to Cheap Sunglasses), video tape from one of their photo shots and a cover of Hendrix's Foxy Lady, which for some reason wasn't included on the main soundtrack. The Hendrix cover is OK, it's a pretty straight cover without too much added. Hendrix had more suitable vocals then Billy G on this one, though. The rest is intersting for fans, but pretty pointless for the regular audience.

What else?
With the track record ZZ Top has, there's always some great songs left out. For me, I would have loved some of their blues covers, like Stop Breaking Down Blues (though, Sloppy Drunk Blues is even better), their greatest blues tune, A Fool For Your Stockings (Blues Jeans Blues is not a bad replacement) a couple of the old hits like Funky Kings and Nasty Dogs and Just Got Back from Baby's. From the 80's triple hit album, I would have loved to see My Head's In Mississippi, and maybe skip the Rough Boy tune (yeah, I know, it's one of their absolutly greatest hits, but I don't care much for it). Good thing that they included Pincusion from the post-80's periode, but I would also have loved to see She's Just Killing Me there as well. And, the best show opner by ZZ Top ever, is I Thank You, with the Deguello instrumental on track. But all in all, a really great selection of songs in my opinion.

So, two thumbs up, hoping that it's less then 40 years to the next live release.

Track list:
Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ For The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
Pin Cushion
Cheap Sunglasses
Pearl Necklace
Heard It On The X
Just Got Paid
Rough Boy
Blue Jean Blues
Gimmie All Your Lovin’
Sharp Dressed Man
Legs
Tube Snake Boogie
La Grange
Tush

10 comments:

Pigeon said...

the moment a large fraction of the people here at blog has been waiting for, is finally here: ZZ Top has finally released a live dvd!

Who the hell are those people ????

Wilhelm said...

Dude; you know I got love for the Z....but you can't with a straight face refer to the Gretsch guitar as anything but a mangled piece of $hit.

Also; it's too freakin' bad they didn't include "She's Just Killing Me" - I totally love that tune, actually.

Ditto for "Fool For Your Stockings". And it's beyond f*cked up that they didn't include "Just Got Back From Baby's" - perhaps my fave 12 bar of all time.

What happened to all the Jackson custom shop guitars Rev'd Billy G used ta play? Inquiring minds want to know

Anders said...

Who the hell are those people ????

Pigeon, between you, me, Cathy and the Willster, I'm a pretty large fraction. And you can't bet your skinny french ass (or a beer) that I've been waiting for this moment!
:-D

Anders said...

you can't with a straight face refer to the Gretsch guitar as anything but a mangled piece of $hit.

Well, I was being polite. The sound doesn't do it for me, but I have to admit that the looks are pretty much in the style of ZZ Top.

What happened to all the Jackson custom shop guitars Rev'd Billy G used ta play?

Lot of them were Bolin gutiars. Like this and this. Or they were Dean, like this or this. Plus, plus, mr. Gibbons has tons of guitars. Don't know where those Jackson's are.

Wilhelm said...

Dude; I thought for sure the first pic was a Jackson custom shop

Don't you agree that they shoulda' included more songs like "Just Got Back From baby's"? I mean; who wants to hear "Waitin' For The Bus" whan they can have a song starting with "Douse that light"?

Anders said...

Don't you agree that they shoulda' included more songs like "Just Got Back From baby's"? I mean; who wants to hear "Waitin' For The Bus" whan they can have a song starting with "Douse that light"?

Did you know they cut of the "Douse that light" comment from the reissued release (Sixpack)? Can you believe it; that's the coolest intro ever.

And sure, as I said, there are songs I would love to see in there. Just Got Back From Baby's. However, the Waiting for The Bus/ Jesus Just Left Chicago (they always play these together) has been a regular part of the ZZ Top setlist since the 70's. Just Got Back from Baby haven't been a part of the normal setlist since the mid 90's. Kind of a trademark, where Billy Gibbons replaces New ORleans in the "Jesus Just Left Chicago, and he's bound to New Orleans" line with the place of the show.

Anyway, if I should make the setlist mine, I would defintely include JGBFB, Funky Kings And Nasty Dogs and She's Just Killing Me. To keep the number of tunes the same, I would take out Rough Boy and Heard it On The X. Maybe replace Blue Jean BLues with A Fool For Your Stockings (one slow blues track with a sermon by Rev Billy G is enough for one setlist). And trim down the Elimiator tracks by replacing Got Me Under Pressure with the Deguello/I Thank You opening. And replace the Foxy Lady bonustrack with Stop Breaking Down.

Anwyay, that leaves out songs from Tejas, Afterburner (doesn't matter, my least favorite), the XXX and Mescalero (Mescalero has some cool tracks that are great live). Mmmh. Can't have them all.

Wilhelm said...

They should totally pull an Iron maiden and do retrospective tours for various eras - they've got a more than big enough fan base, not to mention material, to pull that off.

It totally works for Maiden, and people buy concert DVD's for each era performance, so...

Anders said...

It totally works for Maiden, and people buy concert DVD's for each era performance, so...

Pull an Iron Maiden?
:-D

Anders said...

Actually, I would love to see ZZ Top release more live DVDs from different areas (since I have a few bootleged video's, I know the material is out there). But I do think I prefer a mix of the hits from different areas rather then trying to recreate, say, the World Wide Texas Tour. Donno, seems too nostalgic or something for me. Not that I would miss a ZZ Top show regardless, though...

Wilhelm said...

Awesome M cartoon.

While I agree that era tours could rekk of nostalgia, that must be weighed against the fact that they'd play more songs total, thus increasing the odds of them playing your fave tunes.