DVD Review: ZZ Top Live At Montreux 2013
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
One of my earliest memories of MTV was seeing a constant rotation of “Gimme All Your Lovin” and ‘Legs” with the beards, the 1933 Ford Coupe, the sunglasses and those “top” video vixens. They were not only funny stories but catchy tunes as well. They certainly would have to be at that time for me to buy the Eliminator cassette the first summer I started to earn my own money. I thought they were a brand new band at the time, not knowing that their first album had been released in 1971. I have seen them live a few times over the years mainly when paired with someone whom I may have actually liked even more but figured I’d stick around and check out a few tunes.
I’ve always been impressed with the fact they have never had a lineup change nor changed their sound based on trends. In fact, as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members they have not only endured the test of time but still continue to tour and create new music. The Live At Montreux DVD not only highlights some of their more recent material off their 2012 album “La Futura” but all of the hits from their back catalog.
Highlights of the set would have to include “Got Me Under Pressure”, ‘Sharp Dressed Man”, “Tush” and the classic “La Grange”. But newer tunes like “I Gotsta Get Paid” and ‘Flyin High” still have that signature blues infused rock sound Top fans have grown to love. The middle section of the show features a jazz-blues tribute to the late festival founder Claude Noble with guest appearances by Mike Flanigin on Hammond Organ and Van Wilkes on guitar. I would have liked to see a few more of the Top hits such as “Sleeping Bag” or ‘Rough Boy”.
Overall it’s a legendary performance for a rock band that has stood the test of time. Obviously if you’re expecting a highly visual performance filled with special effects, smoke bombs, or any of the Afterburner video starlet’s you’ll be disappointed. These guys don’t move around on stage but the crowd sure does and this audience certainly loves their Top!! If you are expecting a classic rock and roll performance from one of the best selling rock/blues artists of all time then sit back and enjoy Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard take you on a ride along in their 33 Ford Coupe. It’s a pretty cool seat back in time.