DVD review: ZZ TOP – Live At Montreux 2013

ZZ Top - Live At Montreux 2013

Eagle Vision  [Release date – out now]

ZZ Top are proof, if proof was needed, that old rockers never die they just grow bigger beards: hell, these days even Frank Beard has a beard! The Texas trio also show that no matter what age you are musical talent rarely wanes, as this performance proves, recorded at the 2013 Montreux Jazz and Blues festival this DVD captures the band in great form.

The setlist is mostly a crowd pleasing  ‘greatest hits’ package kicking off with ‘Got Me Under Pressure’ and running through all the big hits including ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’’, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ and ‘Legs’, all of which are accompanied by the original videos on the screens onstage.

It’s not all about past glories though as there are also numbers featured from the band’s latest album, ‘La Futura’, including the rasping blues of ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’.

Billy Gibbons’ voice is a little rougher these days but it is still strong and he carries off all vocal parts with aplomb, as does Dusty Hill. Gibbons’ guitar work is also first rate throughout, again there is no substitute for talent. The band prove beyond all doubt that they are still a force to be reckoned with both live and on record.

One section that did lose my interest slightly was a two song segment played in tribute to ‘Funky’ Claude Nobs – he of ‘Smoke On The Water’ fame and founder of the festival who passed away in January 2013.

For these numbers the band were joined by Mike Flanigin on Hammond Organ and Van Wilks on guitar who provide the jazz to go with the ZZ Top blues which is a step too far down the jazz path for my tastes, still it is only two numbers. The show is finally rounded off by the one-two of ‘La Grange’ and, inevitably, ‘Tush’ which brings to a close an excellent show.

The DVD also contains an interview with both Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons and has a feature on the Montreux Festival by Gibbons to round off the package.

ZZ Top have been together since 1969 and have sold in excess of 50 million albums and this DVD shows that they are still as relevant and potent as ever, the six legged boogie machine lives on!  ****

Review by David Wilson


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