Sakura presents a gallery of the bearded behemoths as they bring their Tonnage Tour to Manchester’s O2 Apollo.
“ZZ Top has been the same three guys and, humorously, the same three chords for nearly five decades.” Billy Gibbons quips between songs as the ‘Little Ol’ Band from Texas’ stand on stage at Manchester’s O2 Apollo.
He’s quite right too. The band, currently on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, find themselves just two years short of their 50 year anniversary and if tonight is anything to go by, the decades have treated them well.
It’s a 20 song strong setlist that the trio rattle through tonight, dominated by the hits and their trademark choreographed side by side swaying that is greeted with warm cheers on each occasion, as are the biggest of the big hits – Gimme All Your Lovin’ and Sharp Dressed Man.
Between the big numbers the band shake it up with a cover of Jimi Hendrix‘ Foxy Lady that follows I Gotsta Get Paid – a track from their last studio album which they revisit later on with Chartreuse.
Three more covers make their way into the main set, Merle Travis’ Sixteen Tons gets the heavy treatment nestled between Catfish Blues originally by Robert Petway and Buck Owens’ Act Naturally.
The band return to the stage shortly after Tush for their first encore, stepping back off and on once more for a riotous version of Jailhouse Rock to end the show. It may be too much to ask for another 50 years of ZZ Top, but we wouldn’t be against it.
Photos by Sakura