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ZZ TOP
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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RAW WHISKEY TOUR 2022
Delaware State Fair
Wednesday, July 27, 2022


    Back to the Delaware State Fair and not for the midway games, food and rides, but for my All-Time favorite band, ZZ Top.  The band brought their “Raw Whiskey Tour” to the Delaware State Fair.  The tour is named after their just-released (Friday, July 22nd) new album RAW which consists of newly recorded classic tracks from the original lineup of ZZ Top.

    The band hit the stage at 8:30 and Billy Gibbons with his shades, hat and beard, was joined by drummer Frank Beard (the one without the beard), and new bass member Elwood Francis, who replaced Dusty Hill who passed away last summer.  Francis, who was the band’s former guitar tech, fell perfectly into place, beard and all. There was no reference of Hill at all through the night.  Reportedly, it was Hill's wish that the band continue with Francis as his replacement.  The band’s sold-out 90-minute set drew heavily from the 1983 Eliminator album with a bunch of other gems thrown into the set.  They opened with "Got Me Under Pressure" and "I Thank You;" going right into "Waitin' for the Bus" and "Jesus Just Left Chicago".  Now Gibbons asks the crowd, "Are we having a good time now, ZZ Top's in the house!”  They rocked on with  “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, "Pearl Necklace", and "I'm Bad I'm Nationwide".  Gibbons once again says, "Are we having a good time now?  So now we're going to play something Bluesy and we're just making this stuff up as we go along".  "I Gotsta Get Paid", and "My Head’s in Mississippi," where Gibbons would change the line in the song to, "My Head’s in Delaware".  Next was a cover of Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons", which was later covered by Tennessee Ernie Ford.  "Just Got Paid" was next before closing out their first set with "Sharp Dressed Man", and of course, "Legs", on which the bearded ones swapped out their normal guitars for their trademark square guitars covered in white faux fur.  (You remember the video from MTV of that song?)

    After a short break, the band returned to the stage now with Gibbons and Francis sporting red sparkly blazers as they played "Brown Sugar", (not the Rolling Stones song of the same name) from their first album 1971's "ZZ Top's First Album".  After all my ZZ Top shows, I don't think I've ever heard them play this live, but it was way cool and a great song to throw in the encore. And for the closing two songs, as with most all of their tours, it's always pretty much, "Tube Snake Boogie" and "La Grange".

    Like I said earlier, I have seen ZZ Top from 1976 on their "ZZ Top's World Wide Texas Live Tour" at the Good-Ole Spectrum in Philadelphia and many other venues and states throughout the years up until now.  Even with Hill's replacement, Elwood Francis, these guys are just a great band live. If you get the chance go and see them, they will not let you down.  Just pure boogie Rock n Roll!
ZZ Top's website - ZZ Top: Official Website

Gary Crouthamel, Concert Staff Photo Journalist
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