ZZ Top Brings ‘Raw Whisky’ Tour to Ohio: Photo Gallery
You can see exclusive photos from the show below.
Singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons was in a particularly playful mood, delivering impromptu solos between songs on several occasions. "We just make it up as we go along," he explained at one point, before openly wishing the venue's gates could be locked so the party didn't have to end.
Elwood Francis, who joined the band after the July 2021 death of longtime bassist Dusty Hill, proved to be a perfect fit in terms of both music and facial hair. "That's not a glue-on beard, either!" Gibbons joked during the band introductions.
In a recent interview, Gibbons credited Francis, who was the band's longtime guitar tech and Hill's handpicked replacement, for breathing new life into ZZ Top. "He's adding a great bit of enthusiasm," Gibbons enthused. "When I see [drummer] Frank Beard smiling for the first time in 30 years, I know something good's happening."
The band's 75-minute set was of course heavy on big hits such as "Sharp Dressed Man" and "La Grange," but they also found time for more obscure tracks like "I Gotsta Get Paid" and a cover of the folk classic "Sixteen Tons."
After touring as part of Nelson's Outlaw Music Festival for the next couple of weeks, ZZ Top will spend much of the rest of 2022 on a headlining tour. They recently released Raw, an impromptu "live in the studio" album recorded with Hill on bass during the filming of their 2019 documentary That Little Ol' Band From Texas.