Lake Buena Vista, Florida (November 6, 2018) – When a rock icon decides to head out on tour everyone takes notice. Then when they decide to play small venues, sell out dates follow very quickly. So, when ZZ Top’s front man Billy Gibbons announced his 24 date Big Bad Blues’ solo tour, in support of his latest album The Big Bad Blues, you knew this was a show not to be missed. Luckily enough the tour made a stop at The House Of Blues Orlando so I wouldn’t miss this opportunity.
As the evening progressed the crowd packed its way into the House of Blues. What a great venue for a show like this. With stellar lighting and even better sound, it is the perfect place for everyone to experience Billy Gibbons in an intimate setting. Not only would the crowd be treated to Billy, but his backing band is alone worth seeing. On drums, is Matt Sorum. Yes, THAT Matt Sorum, the drummer for The Cult and Guns N’ Roses. Along side Billy on guitar is Austin Hanks, an accomplished guitarist in his own right. Rounding out the band is Elwood Francis on harmonica, guitar, and vocals. When the lights finally went down, the crowd cheered as they knew the man they were waiting see and hear would be taking the stage at any moment. As the band made its way to a simple uncluttered stage with a few props, the energy was through the roof. The crowd roared to life when he lights came up and everyone knew the music would start. The first songs Billy cut loose with were covers from his latest release The Big Bad Blues, “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” and “Treat Her Right” after getting the crowd warmed up with that, he went to an original song of his “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’”. At this point Billy introduced everyone in the band. He made mention of the fact that there was no bass player in the group and that his guitar was actually wired to pick up the low strings on the guitar and he was playing the bass tracks as well. Then they went on to play “I Thank You” a song written by Sam &Dave, but also covered by ZZ Top. Another ZZ Top favorite that he played was “Jesus Left Chicago”. As the show went on everyone was enjoying an amazing night of music. Up next were songs from his new album “I Like It Like That” and “Hollywood 151”. Now it was time for Austin Hanks to take his turn on vocals on “Rising Waters Blues”. After the inspired performance by Austin Hanks, Billy took over with a Bo Diddly song “Bring It To Jerome”. Continuing, they played “just Got Paid”, “I Got Love If You Want IT”, a super fun version of “Blue Jeans Blues”, the classic Bobby Troup song “Route 66”, and “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go”. Finally, it came time to play one of ZZ Top’s biggest hits “Sharp Dressed Man”. When they hit the first few notes, the crowd went nuts! Everyone was singing along and having a great time. The last song to be played before they left the stage was another great ZZ Top song “Thunderbird”. After a brief break and cheering by the crowd to come back, everyone returned to the stage. What would be next? How could they top what has been played tonight? When the guys ripped into the first chords of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” the crowd went wild. Matt Sorum not only channeled his inner Robert Plant when he handled the singing of this classic, but he did John Bonham proud with his fierce drumming. Of course, they couldn’t play it just like Zeppelin, they had to put their own twist on it with Elwood Francis rapping the last verse of the song! The night ended with one of the all time classic ZZ Top songs “La Grange”.
To a person, everyone lucky enough to get a ticket to tonight’s show not only got their money’s worth of great music but had an absolute blast. Billy Gibbons assembled an all-star band that can rival any band out there today, and tonight they had their prowess on full display. For anyone that is a fan of the blues and ZZ Top, definitely pick up a copy of Billy Gibbons latest release The Big Bad Blues. If you get a chance to see Billy Gibbons live, run don’t walk to that venue, so you won’t miss a second of him.
House Of Blues: