Concert Reports


ZZ Top

08/25/2019, Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles

ZZ Top have hit the road this summer for a lengthy tour of the U.S. in celebration of their 50 years as a band. The opening act for most of the dates is Cheap Trick, the two groups played Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles on August 25

All Photos: Gary Lambert



From the opening notes of their signature opener “Got Me Under Pressure,” guitarist Billy Gibbons, Bassist Dusty Hill & Drummer Frank Beard skillfully varied the setlist to include their top hits such as “Gimme All Your Lovin” mixed with their bluesier tunes that took the sold out crowd on a roller coaster ride throughout the groups 50 year career. “Pearl Necklace,” “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide,” and “My Head’s In Mississippi” made the diverse audience dance to the trio’s signature groove while set closers “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs” (complete with Furry Guitars) whipped everyone into a frenzy.


The one, two punch encore of “La Grange’ and “Tush” put a solid end statement to a night that showed why That Little Ol’ Band From Texas has been flourishing for five decades and continues to tour in front of sellout crowds. The trio added a second encore with the show ending “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley.


"It’s been five decades, and I think we’re starting to get pretty good at all this!" Billy Gibbons enthused in a press release. "We’re truly excited to be appearing across the continent this summer and fall, playing our bluesy kind of rock like we started in ’69. The beards, Frank's excepted, are perhaps a bit longer, yet nothing else has changed. We're keeping it that way.”


The dates began on Aug. 16 at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre in Ridgefield, Wash., and wrap up on Oct. 20 at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Fla. You can see all the dates and get full details at the band's website.


Last year, Gibbons hinted that ZZ Top would be touring for their 50th anniversary. “It's such a rarity to find this: the same three guys playing the same three chords and you look up and say, 'Gee, it's 50 years!' That's pretty wild,” he said. “I think it's cause for celebration. We'll certainly pull out all the stops. Furthermore, it gives us a good excuse to go back and relearn some of the stuff we're supposed to already know."

He added that the trio has recorded some "starter pieces" of new music that could possibly result in ZZ Top's first new music since 2012 La Futura.



The band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas, and following a few initial lineup tweaks, the classic trio of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard have all been going strong in the band for 50 years. Along the way, ZZ Top have released such classic hits as “La Grange”, “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, and “Legs”, among others, and they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.



On Aug. 13, the new documentary film, ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas, made its worldwide premiere at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, Calif., followed by event screenings nationwide timed to the band’s 50th Anniversary Tour. On Aug. 23, the film premiered at Cineplex Cinemas across Canada, and on Sept. 1, throughout Australia’s Event Cinemas national circuit.

The feature film tells the story of how “three oddball teenage bluesmen,” according to a press release—Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard—”became one of the biggest, most beloved bands on the planet, all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans and entice onlookers a half century after the band’s inception.”

Purchase tickets for the film here.

I think even our most steadfast fans will find themselves surprised by what they learn about those men behind the beards and cheap sunglasses,” said of That Little Ol’ Band From Texas. “There we are, up there on the silver screen and it’s something we’re delighted to share with fans of all stripes.”

Buoyed by candid band interviews, never-before-seen archive, animation, celebrity fan testimonials from Billy Bob Thornton and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and an intimate performance at the oldest dance hall in Texas, historic Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, that was shot exclusively for the film, That Little Ol’ Band From Texas “runs the gamut, from the absurd to the poignant, from squalid bars to MTV heroics, all in celebration of this notoriously private but larger-than-life power trio. In the end, the film unravels the extraordinary tale of a band whose image we know, but whose story we don’t,” says the press release.

That Little Ol’ Band From Texas director Sam Dunn is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the co-founder of Banger Films. Producer and Banger Films co-founder Scot McFadyen has been with Dunn every step of the way, growing their company into one of the world’s best-known music documentary operations.

On Aug. 16, three days after the film’s premiere, ZZ Top embarked on its 50th Anniversary Tour at Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre in Ridgefield, Wash. The trio will play more than 30 dates throughout North America, with Cheap Trick as main support for the majority of the engagements. Theatrical engagements of That Little Ol’ Band From Texas in and near these markets have been arranged by Abramorama, the global theatrical distribution and rights management company.




On Aug. 16, Warner Bros. Records released Goin’ 50 as both 3-CD and 180-gram, 5-LP sets. A single-CD version with 18 tracks was made available on June 14.


Goin’ 50 spans the band’s entire musical career, from its 1969 debut, and its multi-platinum zenith during the ’80s, to its most recent releases. This new retrospective includes material from each of the 15 studio albums that guitarist Billy Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard and bassist Dusty Hill have recorded since 1970. Two bonus tracks, “Salt Lick” and “Miller’s Farm,” a single and b-side respectively, were recorded in 1969 by the original incarnation of ZZ Top.


The first disc of Goin’ 50 focuses on the FM radio hits of the ’70s and early ’80s, including “La Grange,” “Tush,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” and “Pearl Necklace.”


The additional disc explores the hits the band released between 1983 and 1991, including six Top 40 tracks: “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Legs,” “Sleeping Bag,” “Stages,” “Rough Boy” and “Velcro Fly.”


Goin’ 50 closes with a selection of songs recorded between 1992 and 2016 that find the band returning to its blues roots for fresh inspiration on tracks like “Pincushion,” “What’s Up With That,” “Rhythmeen” and “I Gotsta Get Paid.” The set’s final two tracks, live versions of “Waitin’ For The Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” are taken from the band’s most recent release, Live Greatest Hits from Around the World (2016).




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The 3,300 seat boutique amphitheatre is nestled on a picturesque, oak-dotted hillside in Paso Robles on California's Central Coast. With its opening in the summer of 2013, the Vina Robles Amphitheatre became one of the largest outdoor venues for arts and entertainment in San Luis Obispo County. Featuring a style reminiscent of the California missions, guests are able to immerse themselves in a unique and intimate concert adventure as they enjoy modern amenities and first class hospitality. The concert season runs from May through November and features top tier acts from around the world in all genres. Various seating options all within 150 feet from the stage, including regular, VIP and general admission lawn seating, make events accessible to anyone in the community. We look forward to sharing our love of wine and the arts with you soon. For more information about the Vina Robles Winery, Click Here


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