Concert Reports


ZZ Top

04/27/2024, Vina Robles Amphitheatre, Paso Robles

ZZ Top, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” returned to a Sold Out Vina Robles Amphitheatre on Saturday, April 27

All Photos: Ray Soto / Central Coast Rocks


ZZ Top returned to the Vina Robles Amphitheatre stage for the first time since 2022, which was their first stop in Paso Robles with new Bassist Elwood Francis who replaced Dusty Hill in 2021 ( R.I.P. ) Hitting the stage with their signature opener “Got Me Under Pressure,” the band displayed their charisma and musicianship as only true veterans who have seen decades of touring can do. Bassist Elwood more than held his own as the fairly new member and it was apparent why he was Dusty Hill’s own choice to replace him. Guitarist Billy Gibbons, who is in a league of his own, commanded the stage with his blues inspired licks and charisma.


“I Thank You” ( Sam & Dave cover ) followed the groups opening song and then the hits kept coming in hot as the Tres Hombres have decades worth of music to pull from. “Gimmee All Your Lovin,’ “Pearl Necklace,” and “My Heads In Mississippi” then highlighted the middle section of the set list. When the closer “Sharp Dressed Man” was played the venues fire alarm was set off and patrons were told to exit only to be called back as it was a false alarm.
The band ended the Sold Out night with the encore of “Brown Sugar,” “Tube Snake Boogie,” and “La Grange.”



ZZ Top has been at it for well over a half century delivering rock, blues and boogie on stage and studio to millions of devoted fans. With iconography as distinctive as their sound, ZZ TOP is globally recognized with their beards, hotrod cars, spinning guitars and that magic keychain, all of which transcend geography and language.


It was in 1969 Houston when ZZ TOP coalesced from the core of two rival bands, Billy Gibbons’ Moving Sidewalks and Frank Beard and Dusty Hill’s American Blues. ZZ Top's 1973 release, Tres Hombres, catapulted them to national attention with the hit “La Grange,” still one of the band’s signature pieces today. Eliminator, their 1983 album was something of a paradigm shift for ZZ TOP. Their roots blues skew was intact and added to the mix came their hightech-age trappings that soon found a visual outlet with such tracks as “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” on the nascent MTV. It was one of the record industry’s first albums to have been certified Diamond, far beyond Gold and Platinum, a reflection of sales exceeding 10 million units.


As a touring outfit, they’ve been without peer over the past five decades, having performed before millions of fans over four continents and have been the subject of their own Grammy-nominated documentary titled That Little Ol’ Band From Texas. The band’s line-up of the bearded Gibbons and Hill and Beard, who ironically is clean shaven, remained intact for more than 50 years. When Dusty temporarily departed the tour in the summer of 2021, Elwood Francis entered the picture accepting the directive from Dusty to be the perfect choice to stand in on the bass-guitar and now handles the low-end duties for the band for the present as well as into the future.


The elements that keep ZZ TOP fresh, enduring can be summed up in the three words of the band’s internal mantra: “Tone, Taste and Tenacity.” As genuine roots performers, they have few peers. Their influences are both the originators of the form – Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, et al – as well as the British blues rockers and Jimi Hendrix who emerged generations before ZZ’s ascendance.


They have sold hundreds of millions of records over the course of their career, have been officially designated as Heroes of The State of Texas, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (by Keith Richards, no less) and have been referenced in countless cartoons and sitcoms. They are true rock icons and, against all odds, they’re really just doing what they’ve always done. ZZ TOP abides!




About Vina Robles Amphitheatre


Welcome to the Vina Robles Amphitheatre, where European Inspiration meets California Character and the stars always shine. Here, two of California's great compositions meet, as exceptional wine and intimate live music are paired to create an unforgettable wine country experience.


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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