Classic rock legends ZZ Top rocked Wilmington, N.C.'s, Wilson Center Thursday night, serving the sold-out crowd a night not soon forgot.
The power trio from Texas delivered nearly 90 minutes of unadulterated blues-rock and boogie, minus any frills. Lauded frequently with crowd roars, and more, ZZ Top simply let their tunes do the talking.
Sans stage props and grand backdrops, the band – guitarist/lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill, and drummer Frank Beard – hit the ground running with “Got Me Under Pressure,” out of the gate. With the seated-theater’s crowd jumping to its feet, the show’s tone was instantly set.
“The Little Ol’ Band from Texas” cherry-picked more hits from its 15 studio albums, including “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.” Addressing the crowd often in his gruff, smoky drawl, Gibbons then told the full-house, “[We’re] going to take you way back.”
With that, the guitar intro of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” took over, followed by a fan sing-along. ZZ Top then rolled through the electric blues styling of "My Head's in Mississippi," and “Just Got Paid,” against an unassuming backdrop of lighted pinpoint stars.
As for Gibbons and Hill, their signature chest-length beards, alike outfits and eccentric guitars harkened to the band’s MTV video days. During the band’s crowd-pleasing rendition of “Legs,” the two even played the white fuzzy guitars featured in the song’s video.
The trio closed out the night with two encores. Enduring hits “La Grange” and “Tush” comprised the first, followed by a rousing cover of Elvis’ “Jail House Rock.”
ZZ Top’s overall sound was tight, with heady riffs, drums licks, and ripe, raspy vocals. With nearly five decades behind them it seems the old adage holds true – some things just get better with age.
Grab tickets to upcoming ZZ Top shows right here on AXS.