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Steve at Concord Pavillion

...........ZZ Top Just Keeps on Rocking !


....ZZ Top is on tour again entering their fourth decade playing Rock and Roll, making them the longest running American Rock Band in history with no member changes . And the little old band from Texas recently received the new RIAA Diamond Award for selling more than 10 million copies of "Eliminator," added to the countless gold and platinum records they have received over the past 30 years. ZZ Top is marking its 30th anniversary . Its anniversary album, "XXX," adds hip-hop rhythms and modern studio alchemy to the trio's formula of grinding, throbbing guitars and rock-solid, blues-based rhythm. The surprise is how well the group makes it work within the context of its existing style. Rather than coming off like aging rockers desperate to keep their sound contemporary, guitarist Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard have built upon their own distinctive system and made it work seamlessly. It's been 20 years since Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill grew the band's trademark, waist-length beards. The growth (yes, the beards are real) started during a long late-'70s vacation. "We got lazy and threw our blades away," Gibbons said . "We have declined Gillette's offer to have them pay us to shave them off," Gibbons said. "The offer was pretty attractive until they considered our answer: 'We're too ugly under here.'" Gibbons speaks like a genial Southern gentleman, drawling just a bit and playing along when asked about beard management.
...........But Friday's concert at the Oakland Coliseum for all the highlights of their 80-minute show, guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard drew just one song from the new "XXX" album--the conventionally chugging "Fearless Boogie"--instead of the more adventurous rap-metal album opener "Poke Chop Sandwich" or the sonically experimental, hip-hop-laced "Crucifixx-A-Flatt.". Yet even with its gaze turned largely to the past, the Little Ol' Band From Texas needed no apologies. They demonstrated why they've not just survived for three decades, but flourished. It all starts with songs grounded in the blues, then proves that the form remains infinitely malleable. The cleanly constructed set and the periodic choreography executed so effortlessly by Gibbons and Hill--looking like sharp yet seedy Santa siblings--accented the music just enough to ward off any momentum-draining predictability

By Randy Cohen

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