ZZ Top Tour/Mini Review

Discussion in 'Music' started by Brian L, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Just a note for any Top fans looking in...

    Caught the show in Albuquerque last night. All I can say is Wow! This was probably the best live sound I have ever heard. Fabulous.

    The tone Billy Gibbons squeezes from his guitar is nothing short of breathtaking. Great set list, and a great show. He pulled out Pearly Gates (an absoluteley TO DIE FOR sunburst Les Paul) for "Just Got Paid" and his slide work and tone was spectacular, jaw droppping stuff. Anyone with any aspirations to play guitar will be awed.

    The played a couple cuts from the new unreleased album Mescalaro. Not bad. Definitely Top. Pretty rare to hear new, unfamiliar music live and actually like it.

    If you like Top, I would highly recommend seeing this tour.

    As a side note, Ted Nugent and Kenny Wayne Shepard were the opening acts.

    I have been a Ted fan since my youth. Beside the fact that Ted has morphed into Ted Limbaugh, it was vintage Ted. Pretty much all the tunes you would expect to hear, with a good dose of conservative politics (which I tend to agree with most of the time). If you had any liberal leanings, it may be tough to swallow though.

    The dissapointment for me was KWS and Double Trouble. No doubt he has found the keys to SRV's tone closet, but the performance lacked the fire and intensity that SRV would bring to the party (and I have seen SRV live). I have seen KWS on TV before, and was always impressed, so I would have to assume it was just an off night, coupled with the fact that the opening act has no say on the sound system, which did not flatter the band. In the plus column, he did close with a cover of SRV's cover of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, which was pretty cool.

    BGL
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Question: I saw ZZ Top in the 70's. *Was* a big fan. Is this tour more the "synth pop" of Eliminator (i.e., IMO, garbage)? Or the real guitar blues/rock Top of Tres Hombres, Fandango, and Deguello? [​IMG]
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Brian- I had heard rumblings that the last lp Rhymeen (?) was also a harkening back to their early sound? But I was hesitant to get it. Do you have it?

    Hee, hee. I'm a proud owner of a '79 Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Custom...
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  6. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    OK, I am 8 tracks into the total of 12.

    BUY Rythmeen!

    I had forgotten how good this album was (so many Cd's and DVD's and DVD-A's and SACD's, so little time).

    I can't comment on the sonics just yet (my office system is a walkman piped into a Wave Radio (say a word, and I will beat your dog!).

    Very reminicent of Deguelos, which I really like. Nothing at all like the 80's synth stuff.

    BTW, do you have Antenna? Thats pretty good too. And having listenned to that recently on the big rig, I thought the bass and kick drum on that album was huge.

    BGL
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Cool, I will have to pick up Rythmeen and Antenna then. So Eliminator, Afterburner, and Recycler are the ones to avoid.

     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I guess XXX isn't that great either... I have *heard* that Mescalero is supposed to be vintage Top too.

    I'm still awaitin' for some more live stuff too... [​IMG]
     
  10. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Off topic Kevin, but I just got around to reading your letter in Stereophile. I liked your comment about tube amps, but does that apply to ALL amplification in the Brown household?

    I have three different tube amps (small bore Fender, Laney, and Mesa Boogie) and would not consider plugging my beloved LP or Strat into anything but!

    For guitar amps, distortion is a GOOD thing, right?

    BGL
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Brian- I sent in that letter last Nov. I have since been "enlightened" in terms of tube eqp, to the extent, that if I ever split out 2 ch listening from HT, I actually probably would go with a tube integrated amp. [​IMG]

    The bottom line (I think!), is that tube gear overdrives more gracefully than ss gear.

    I have 2 Lab Series L-5 (?) amps that I ran in "stereo" with an Alesis Quadraverb. But I think they are solid state...

    Just won Antenna and Rhythmeen on ebay. I think I'm going after XXX next anyway. It does have 4 live tracks at the end! [​IMG]

    Kind of nice to "rediscover" a band.
     
  12. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If it was my post about Rocks, then it was more *hope* than anything definate. Oh, funny one. Aerosmith don't "party" like they used to, right? But if I look at what I like from them, I much prefer their "party" releases (Night in the Ruts and before, plus Done with Mirrors), but really not much from after Done with Mirrors.

    I actually got the Lab Series' because there was supposedly a connection to Norlin Electronics (to Gibson), plus, Ronnie Montrose used them for a while in the late 70's, early 80's. I got a good deal too. [​IMG]

    Hey got a question for you: where do you stand on ZZ Top's 6 lps and the "remastering" that was done? I now have the "6-pack" box CD, and maybe in retrospect, mistakenly got rid of all the lps.
     
  14. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    See, that's just it. I kind of also do prefer the "remastered" sound. Yes, it is different from the original 6 lps. But as some people have very erroneously reported on the Amazon reviews, ZZ Top did NOT go back and rerecord the drums on a drum machine just so they could sound like Eliminator/Afterburner/Recycler. I also thought the drums have more depth and a more extended top end. (I was just always nervous about *how* they accomplished that though. I.e., did they just turn off the Dolby noise reduction on playback and re-record *that* sound? I.e., a "false" remaster?) Shoot, now I'm going to have to go back and listen to them again! [​IMG] Oh, the torture!

    I need to investigate a little too, in that this is the exact type of thing that ICE Magazine reports on. But the 6-pack came out before I was a subscriber...
     
  16. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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  17. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

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    Well, I saw the BD&HR tour in St. Louis.

    I thought Kenny Wayne rocked, but it was hard to determine because the folks in front of us made better doors than they did windows... Gotta love all the nice yuppie bikers in their nice new leathers...

    Really dug Sweaty Teddy. Rocked the house. Gonna catch it again when he's back in the area next month.

    ZZ-Top was a disappointment. The midrange was just flat out muddy for the vocals. Couldn't get the words, etc... Plus, the show was sorta dull - Coupla nice jams, but the majority of the show made the yuppie bikers happy - they seemed to really dig it when the boys would stand on stage and move in unison, just like in the videos...
     
  18. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Bummer on ZZ Tops sound, and the yuppy bikers.

    We have Bikers here, but they look like the real deal. I guess the yuppies stayed home.

    The folks at my show doing the door imitation were basically garden variety drunks. They were quite effective at it, though.

    I am not a yuppy biker, but I kind of liked it when they stood on stage and moved in unison. Oh well.

    I liked it better when Dusty tore it up at the end of I'm Bad, I'm Nation Wide (a killer bass part when it gets fast at the end) and Billy brought out Pearly Gates for Just Got Paid.

    BGL
     
  19. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Hee, hee. I also whipped about disc 2 of the 6-pack last night and listened to it. I also noticed a better spread of the imaging across the front soundstage too. Never really listened to it before, just because of the overwhelming difference in the drums.

     
  20. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    Could anyone who has been to one of these shows you tell me if KWS has been playing any new material? Any hints as to whether or not there's a new album in the works?

    Seems like lately his CD's have been in really heavy rotation for me and I'd love to hear some new stuff from him.

    Thanks,
    -Brett.
     

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