ZZ Top’s “La Grange” Gig Proves They’re Still As Cool As 1971

ZZ Top debuted their psychedelic strain of blues rock all the way back in 1971, yet their authentically vintage sound continues to captivate both old and new listeners to this day. ZZ’s 2020 performance of their hit ’73 single, “La Grange” live from Gruene Hall hits just as hard, if not harder, than it did when it was released almost 50 years prior.

Young generations could glimpse the Santa-bearded old folks decked out like Wild Western movie stars and remark that they’re past their prime, struggling to reclaim their faded fame and summon a new wave of relevance in our new era of visual-based music. But from the first verse of the frontman and guitarist, Billy Gibbon’s smoky voice, the evidence proves that this band has clearly remained on top form for all these years, shamelessly cool and rocking their riffs as if they’ve only just debuted them.

This undying passion, coupled with the finessed talents honed over their 50+ years in the music industry, is what makes ZZ Top one of rock’s greatest bands. They jam bluesy solos like it’s Woodstock ’69, and the bond between band members emanates an endearing, brotherly respect.

Launching their sound from Houston, Texas, the lineup of ZZ Top has remained astonishingly consistent. This trio was comprised of vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons (now aged 74), drummer Frank Beard (74), and bassist/backing vocalist/keyboardist Dusty Hill, who passed away at the age of 72 in 2021, the year after their stellar Gruene Hall rendition of “La Grange.” After Hill’s death, Elwood Francis (62) took over the reins of the bass and backing vocals, after working with the band for over 30 years as a guitar tech.

ZZ Top’s 15-studio album discography hasn’t seen a new addition since 2012’s “La Futura.” But with an estimated 50 million record sales worldwide across their expanse of experimental, genre-crossing albums, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004, perhaps this band doesn’t need to rekindle their glory days with a new release.

Their 2020 performance of “La Grange” — one of the last featuring all original band members — has amassed over twice as many YouTube views as the band’s two most-watched music videos combined, accumulating over 102 million views and 534k+ likes.

ZZ Top doesn’t just thrive off 20th-century nostalgia; their music remains impeccable, crowned by a learned showmanship most new acts could only dream of.

If you want to experience more of ZZ Top’s timeless blues rock, head on over to their YouTube Channel or show them some love on Facebook. You can also check out their latest photos and tour dates on their Instagram feed, or visit their official website.

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