ZZ Top in concert at the Zénith in Paris: we were there, we tell you about it

Blues rock was in the spotlight this Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at the Zénith de La Villette on the occasion of ZZ Top’s only Parisian concert. Despite a somewhat short set, lasting about 1h15, the trio led by Billy F Gibbons offered the spectators a successful concert carried by several hits that we never tire of listening to. We were there, we tell you about it.

It was a return awaited by many fans of ZZ Top. After 5 years of absence in the capital, and three years after the death of Dusty Hill, ZZ Top has therefore made its comeback in Paris. So inevitably, the emotion was palpable this Tuesday, July 9, 2024 at Zenith of Paris seeing that the late bassist and co-founder of the Texan band was not on stage. Especially since the line-up of this trio from Houston had been unchanged for more than fifty years. But fans could count on the presence of the singer Billy F Gibbons and the drummer Frank Beardstill as united and close. Since the death of Dusty Hill, the two acolytes have been joined by Elwood Francis on bass.

So, in the end, what does this new trio sound like? It’s at 9:10 pm sharp that the American blues rock group takes to the stage of the Zénith to thunderous applause. The scenography is simple but effective, with an avalanche of amps surrounding the drums and two microphone stands that change color with each song.

Frank Beard is already installed behind his imposing drum kit, where a barrel protrudes from each of his two large drum boxes. Billy F Gibbons et Elwood Francis arrive on stage a few seconds later. While the first is sporting a rather classic Gibson guitar, the second is armed with an imposing yellow 17-string bass! An instrument that impresses, but which does not seem to scare Elwood Francis. Quite the contrary. The one who was the group’s former guitar technician for several years displays disconcerting ease.

And the combo attacks hard by performing the famous ” Got Me Under Pressure ” extract of “Eliminator” (1983). This song is not the only hit that ZZ Top is in the spotlight this Tuesday evening at the Zénith de La Villette. The three musicians have decided to take us back in time by playing in particular the lively ” Gimme All Your Lovin’ “, as well as ” Sharp Dressed Man » et « Legs “, also taken from “Eliminator” or ” I Gotsta Get Paid “, extract of “The Future“(2012). The guitar riffs are sharp, the bass lines are brutal and powerful, while the deep and raspy voice of Billy F Gibbons takes us to the heart of Texas. The trio also allowed themselves two covers this Tuesday evening, including that of the excellent “ Sixteen Tons » by Merle Travis.

ZZ Top in concert at the Zénith in Paris: we were there, we tell you about it

On stage, the three acolytes play the pieces with great ease and a certain touch of humor at times. There are of course the incomparable little choreographed dance steps of Billy F Gibbons et Elwood Francis – whose complicity is obvious -, but also this smoky entrance on stage of the guitar technician, dressed for the occasion in a black cowboy outfit. There are also these two guitars covered in white fur on which Billy F Gibbons and Elwood Francis play at the end of the set.

This Tuesday evening, the guitarist and the bassist each sport a sparkling jacket. Elwood Francis even went so far as to opt for a pair of flashy red shoes, also sparkling. True to his look for years, Billy F Gibbons has not forgotten his essential accessories, his hat and his dark glasses. As for his beard, it always remains incredibly impeccable. Because ZZ Topit’s also a story of beard. Elwood Francis also has an imposing beard, which makes you wonder at times whether it is real or not. One thing is certain, the three artists do not take themselves seriously and seem to be having fun like kids. An atmosphere that is a pleasure to see!

After only one hour, ZZ Top slips off stage. But it was to come back better with a new stage outfit, pink this time, but still sparkling. For this encore, the three artists choose to perform the song ” Brown Sugar “, taken from the group’s very first opus released in 1971. This will be followed by “ Tube Snake Boogie “, appearing on the opus “Crazy“(1981), without forgetting the group’s hit with the inimitable riff, I named “ Barn “Still as effective, this global hit completed this Parisian set of ZZ Top of only about 1h15. A successful show, but too short in our eyes. We would have liked to hear a little more, and in particular some pieces taken from “The Future“, this album which remains to this day the last studio opus of “ this old little band from Texas » !

Setlist :

Got Me Under Pressure
I Thank You (reprise Sam & Dave)
Waitin’ for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin’
Pearl Necklace
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
I Gotsta Get Paid
My Head’s in Mississippi
Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis cover)
Just Got Paid
Sharp Dressed Man

Rappel :

Brown Sugar
Tube Snake Boogie



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