Darien Lake PAC
Darien Center, NY
Tuesday August 23, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
ZZ Top made their first visit to the Darien Lake PAC Tuesday night in quite some time. The band put on a bare bones, basic type of show. It is rare these days when an artist comes to Darien and doesn’t give some type of visual show. It was simply just guitarist Billy Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard.
Kicking things off with a rollicking version of Eliminator’s “Got Me Under Pressure”. Tres Hombres was represented next with “Waitin For The Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”.
The band played most of the songs you would expect to hear. The diamond in the rough “Rough Boy” was good to hear as it hadn’t seen many set lists over the last decade or so.
Sadly there were many songs the band for whatever reason, do not play these days. “Sleeping Bag”, a top-10 smash which peaked at number 8, hasn’t been touched since 1999. A few other songs of note that were not played were “Pearl Necklace”, “Tube Snake Boogie” and “I Thank You”. All songs that fans would love to hear and see live. A little more creativity with their song selection was what was needed at least for me.
The band sounded good and these guys can still play however I think they missed the boat and at one point during the show they played three covers in a row. When I go to see a band of ZZ Top’s stature, I want to see them play their own material with maybe one cover at best.
Opening the show was Canadian Legend Randy Bachman. Bachman was a late addition to the bill when Gregg Allman was forced to sit out due to an illness. It is not too often you can find a replacement with the accolades and catalog like Bachman has on such short notice.
Highlights from his set included Guess Who songs “These Eyes”, “No Sugar Tonight” and “No Time”. Most of his set however featured songs from Bachman’s other band he is known for Bachman Turner Overdrive. Classic tracks such as “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”, “Hey You” and ending it all with one of the greatest rock anthems of all-time “Takin’ Care Of Business” was a great warmup for the headliner.
While it may have been the smallest crowd out at Darien this season (they only sold pavilion tickets) both bands put on good sounding sets that left most walking out of the venue at the end of the night very satisfied.
ZZ Top Set List
Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ For The Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin’
I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
I Gotsta Get Paid
Sharp Dressed Man