throw down hard on this double
DVD Tex fest. With gigs from two
different eras, there’s pretty much
something for every ZZ fan. The
1980 show in Germany is super
funky, with Gibbons’ Les Paul
tones at their meanest and his
vibrato at its absolute greasiest.
The camera work is great, with
plenty of close-ups on the Rev’s
hands (dig the hybrid-picked
octaves on “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”).
Gibbons is really on here,
with perfect bends, awesome
dynamics, and gut-punching
power chords. Fast-forwarding to
the 2008 gig, we get ZZ Top the little ol’
multinational corporation from Texas,
but they still bring it in a big, fat way.
Now primarily playing Gretsch guitars in
lieu of Pearly Gates, Gibbons’ tones on
“Blue Jean Blues” and “La Grange” are
delicious—stringy and reedy in all the
right ways. This disc has a lot more production
value, and as a result it’s a little
less immediate and raw than the 1980
footage. But the fact remains: this man
is a card-carrying badass. When people
talk about guys who can floor you with
one note, they’re talking about BFG. You
know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Eagle
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