REVIEW: ZZ Tops at the Palladium
PINK Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Kate Bush and now ZZ Top. The Palladium has seen some pretty impressive bands on its stage in the last 12 months. Of course these are all tribute bands, but when are we ever going to have the real thing play on our doorstep?
Tribute bands might not be everyone's cup of tea and their success depends on their ability to draw us in for a couple of hours and help us relive those magic moments that we treasured from the real bands. They've got to look the part but most importantly, they have to sound the part. The ZZ Tops did both with some style.
As a very important starter for ten, the Tops' beards are real. But more of how they looked in a minute because it's how they sound that counts and they really have that covered.
They drew on the entire ZZ Top catalogue from the early hits, La Grange and Tush, through to La Chartreuse off latest album La Futura. Throughout, the sound and the vocals were right on the money.
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They switched easily between the earthier, bluesy sound of the early days through to the slicker Eliminator era that established ZZ Top as a global phenomenon, playing Legs, Sharp Dressed Man and Gimme All Your Lovin', which merged into Planet Of Women.
And the icing on the cake for the hardcore fans was the Tops' attention to detail. Not just the beards, but the guitars too, not least the spinning "woolly" Gibson Explorer customs and, most significantly for the devotees, a pretty convincing copy of Pearly Gates, the legendary Gibson Les Paul that has more or less defined the ZZ Top sound throughout.
All in all, The ZZ Tops were the real thing at The Pally. Well nearly.