ZZ TOP Rock Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas

If the State flower is the Bluebonnet, and State Bird is the Mockingbird, then we all know the State band is ZZ Top.

ZZ TOP photo by Joe Guzman.
ZZ TOP live at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas on Saturday, September 9, 2017. Photo by Joe Guzman.

ZZ Top has been a staple for Texas for years.  Their Tres Hombres album center cover art showing off our famous Tex- Mex Food Lineage established that. They are Bad they are Nationwide sharing the best of Texas with the world. Texas, we are good food and good Texas music. This is why we are excited about the new Irving Music Factory.

The members of ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard. It’s almost impossible for a 3 piece band to put out the sound these guy produce. I don’t know how they do it. But they sound great and they can back it up “live.”

Frank Beard: I am just fascinated with his drum kit. He always has these interesting decorations on his kit . They speak loudly as become a big part of the set. I was excited to see that he did not disappoint on this tour either with his Hawaiian Tiki God drum theme. A custom middle Tom drum with a ragged edge with a ghost image of the tribal icons on the kick drum heads. Some of the stands on the drum set was covered in driftwood or carved tribal heads. He had a special made double kick drum head that housed a Led light for his Tribal statues that were attached to the 2 kick drum heads. The mouth was open and the light poured out as if the statue was screaming light.

Dusty Hill:  From head to toe in black. Of course the famous, once missing, now found, Stetson felt hat with the horse hair band , shades, fingerless black glove on his left hand, the infamous beard, black jean jacket, black jeans and black with white flame cowboy boots. The jacket had shades of black leathers crosses sewed on the upper Arm and shoulders and chest.  A costume changed later they wore the same styled jacket with gem tone crystal crosses sewn on the arms and shoulders. Define cool? Dusty was playing a custom vintage 50’s Fender Telecaster bass body with a reverse neck strung G,D,A,E. He had 2 of these models one in blond and one in black finish. It was held with a crystal studded belt and buckle guitar strap. Dusty from head to toe, his custom black leather  cowboy boots with inlaid white flames show this boy’s Texas roots.

Billy Gibbons: He is still the coolest and by far that flashiest man in the room. From his custom Stetson to his purple laced black leather shoes, this man is tight. He is a pampered pooch, adorned with his favorite black reggae looking dreads skullcap, Matching to Dusty black jackets. with one exception he wore a white shirt under his coat and more of a slack type pant.  He had a few chunky chains, one was a rather large silver spur. He wore 2 large rings on his middle fingers and silver metal bracelets. When he sings sharp dressed man, he meant it. He played several guitars that night. The Gibson ’61 Reissue Les Paul SG is a badass guitar in its own right. In the La Grange song he played a Gibson SG with a flying V head,  body was black with iridescent flake that sparkled when the light hit it right. And it was right, all night long. At times he wore a red slide on his finger as he played….. and of course the audience went wild. My personal favorite was the black Fender Stratocaster with the letter BFG on the neck. While it could mean Black Fender Guitar.. We all know it is Billy’s personal brand. Billy Frederick Gibbons. This man even has his own Brand of hot sauce.. Yeah, I know what you are thinking, he is Texas to the bone.

Humorous part of the night.  The Boys brought out the famous white square fuzzy guitars and ripped out the song “Legs.” I knew when I saw they had guitar straps on these guitars they were not going to do the famous Fuzzy guitar spins. The song was not without some in sync moves. Really fun for everyone to see the fuzzy guys play fuzzy guitars.

The Cool part  this song was when Billy was playing the solo he gave a finger touch to Dusty and transferred the groves to Dusty. Neither guy missed a well timed beat. It was a slick move by the guys. It worked well on stage. Another clever trick in Billy’s vast bag of smooth moves was when he hammered out the licks in a few songs without the use of his picking hand.  These guys put the C in cool as they cooked licks groovin the shades. I would call them the twins of cool as they magically glided across the stage with their famous matching choreographed steps. Bad Ass is defiantly their to claim fame.

As years go by they have changed their styles to keep up with the trends,  last night they slip back to their blues and country roots.

One of their best songs of the night was when they sang “Act Naturally” a  Buck Owens song. They brought out their secret weapon. Elwood Francis’ (Billy Gibbons’ guitar technician) , he picked up a lap steel and produce a true country steel guitar sound. The richness of the tone echoed throughout the factory.

From pop, blues, country to raunchy rock these guys proved they can and do play it all. Time has shown that ZZ Top is and will always be Texas Music, and a staple of Texas. The Audience loved this band proving it by standing on the 3rd chord. Billy claimed he only knows 3 chords. They must be the three good ones. He also joked  the stage manager for the house said that they were in Texas so they could do anything they wanted. Dusty reminded him.. “with the exception of drinking during the gospel songs.” Billy told the audience not worry the band does not play gospel songs! The crowd roared is laughter.

IRVING MUSIC FACTORY

The Irving Music Factory will be a gem for the city of Irving. I am not doing a harsh critique because it is clear they are hard working on this building. I have been closely involved in 3 major openings. I know the work that goes into getting a building ready. They did what was best for the fans and opened early. It was a great success and the show was worth the price of the ticket! Any issues are being addressed and the crews were on that night.

What I love about the place? The bars are close and intimately placed near the stage. Need nachos?  Right next to the bar! My secret tip.. Park in the convention center parking. It is a healthy walk, but much easier to get out for a fast exit. Think ahead and you will have no traffic issues.

From Will call, to the Ushers. and Bartenders, the staffs was friendly and helpful. This is and will be a top notch facility.  The Music Factory is in a great location and easy to get to. It gives the city back its tax dollars lost from the loss of Cowboy Stadium. Give this building time, and it will make us all proud to have it in the heart of the two cities.

Set List
Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ for the Bus.
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin
Pincushion
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
I Gotsta Get Paid
Foxy Lady
My Head’s in Mississippi
Catfish Blues
Sixteen Tons
Act Naturally
Chartreuse
Sharp Dressed Man
Legs
La Grange
Tush
Jailhouse Rock