By Terence Wenslow
It was a cool summer night Thursday at Ravinia and “That little ol’ band from Texas” made it even cooler. Gibbons and Hill strutted out wearing black leather jackets, (not cheap) sunglasses and hats after a video montage ended. They traded vocal duties on their opener “Got Me Under Pressure,” from their 1983 album “Eliminator.”
They went back to their blues-root rock sound with “Waitin’ for the Bus” which segued into “Jesus Just Left Chicago” which got the crowd standing and cheering. “Gimme All Your Lovin’” was next, which had clips from the music video playing as Gibbons and Hill were swaying in unison.
After “Pincushion” from the 1994 album “Antenna,” Billy Gibbons talked about the band and the rules. “So we’ve been coming around here (Chicago) with you guys for over four decades,” Gibbons said. “The same three guys… The same three chords.” “And we reminded there’s two rules here tonight,” Gibbons added. “Rule number one, no drinking during Gospel songs. Rule number two, no Gospel songs” (in his trademark, deep grumble, undertone voice).
The band then launched into“I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” which got the crowd singing along with the chorus. ZZ Top then played a couple from their last studio album “La Futura,” “I Gotsta Get Paid” and “Flyin’ High.”
Billy and the band did an awesome cover of “Foxy Lady” paying tribute to one of their idols, Jimi Hendrix. And they know the rules, when you come to Chicago, you have to play the Blues. They did that with Dusty Hill doing a down and dirty version of “Catfish Blues.”
When they played “My Head’s in Mississippi” from the “Recycler” album, Billy changed the lyrics to “My Head’s in Chicago” which was another nice nod to the Chicago Blue’s scene.
They ended the set with two more hits from the “Eliminator” album, “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs,” and breaking out their white fur-covered guitars for “Legs.”
Their first encore consisted of “La Grange,” “Sloppy Drunk Jam” and “Tush.” They came out to do a second encore with the cover of Merle Travis’ “Sixteen Tons.”
For photos of the show, click here.
For info on the band, tour and albums, click here.
ZZ Top setlist: Ravinia, Highland Park, IL (Chicago) 8/27/15
1. Got Me Under Pressure
2. Waitin’ for the Bus
3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
4. Gimme All Your Lovin’
5. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
7. I Gotsta Get Paid
8. Flyin’ High
9. Foxy Lady (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
10. Catfish Blues (Robert Petway cover)
11. Cheap Sunglasses
12. My Head’s in Mississippi
14. Sharp Dressed Man
16. La Grange / Sloppy Drunk Jam
18. Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis cover)