Written by Dave Clements
Heading out on this pleasantly cool, early May Saturday to the Woodlands Pavilion, I knew I was in for a treat…times two.  The co-billed entertainers I was there to see were Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Jeff Beck and ZZ Top.  Their ‘Beards and Beck’ tour was a must see on my list.  Though I’m far from a guitar aficionado, I knew enough to be impressed by Jeff Beck.  Then add the hometown favorites ZZ Top and their enthusiastic guitar driven music – you’ve got a home run!
ImageJeff Beck was up first and did not disappoint.  I’ll confess I was not familiar with many of the songs in his set list.  It seemed a fan favorite was a few songs in, A Change Is Gonna Come, a Sam Cooke cover.  His amazing guitar riffs were accompanied by the vocals of Jimmy Hall.  Together they hit about a 19 on the scale of 1 to 10 of soulful, kick butt tunes.  Beck also covered the Beatles’ tune A Day in the Life that allowed him even more inspired wailing on the guitar.  Hard to believe this is a 70 yr. old man who’s been at it in Rock and Roll for over 45 years!  After 13 songs demonstrating his genius, it was time for the next treat.
ZZ Top has also been at it for over 45 years and still going strong.  And over that span of time, with very little deviation from their Texas blues rock sound, they always deliver their unique, gut grabbing sound.
Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons, trademark beards flowing, stepped up and growled out the lyrics we all know and love.  This audience was into it from the beginning as the guys opened with Got Me Under Pressure.  Frank Beard kept the thumping beat going back on the drums.ImageOnce again, my research tells me all three of these guys are 65 yrs. old.  Their drive, energy, and enthusiasm makes this hard to believe!  We got treated to Gimme All Your Lovin’, followed by I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.  Later in the set the guys broke out the props and gave us Cheap Sunglasses and fuzzy guitars.  Sharp Dressed Man and Legs rounded out the set, accompanied by the amazing lights and visual graphic displays we’ve come to expect from this team at the Woodlands Pavilion.
The four song encore had Jeff Beck taking the stage again to join ZZ Top on Rough Boy and Sixteen Tons.  And rest assured these consummate professional musicians did not leave their fans wanting.  The final songs of the night were La Grange and Tush.
Getting to witness pure rock and roll music all night was a blast.  I have to say in closing that as entertaining and generous as all these guys were on stage tonight – at the end of the night the guitars were the stars!
Until next time remember there’s no time to kill,