Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Night with ZZ Top

I remember first hearing ZZ Top's "La Grange" when it came out in 1973. In fact, I think that if I checked my old 45's, I would find it there. It was certainly unique and seemed to come from a group destined to be a one-hit wonder. Man, was I wrong.

I had passed up several chances the past few years to see ZZ Top, once at Assembly Hall in Champaign and once at the Harrah's Horseshoe Hammond. When I heard that they were going to be playing in a small, local venue that seats less than 1,500, I was determined to go. Unfortunately, the beginning of ticket sales somehow passed me by, and later I forgot about the concert. Several weeks ago I was prepared to buy a ticket, only to find out that the concert was sold out.

I checked on craigslist.org. Nothing. I checked several ticket resale sites, but the cost was prohibitive and the tickets were crappy. So I checked. And checked. And checked. Nothing.Finally, the venue posted that there might be some tickets released closer to the concert. I checked several times. Nothing. I even checked this morning. Nothing.

I was prepared to admit defeat and kick myself when I decided to take one last look right after I finished work today. I was surprised to find that there were tickets available! I went to the venue's website and saw something unbelievable: a ticket available for purchase IN THE FRONT ROW! I put in my order information, clicked on the button to complete the sale and ... received a message that my order could not be completed. I had had trouble with that website before, and despite changing browsers and credit cards, I couldn't purchase the ticket. I called the box office and was told that someone (me) had clicked on the seat and it was still listed as "reserved." I was asked if I instead wanted the third row seat, but I declined. The young woman at the box office asked for my phone number and told me she would see if it became unlocked and, if so, she would give me a call. I figured I wanted that first row ticket and waited for the call. Fortunately, the woman called a few minutes later and I was able to get my front row seat -- less than 2 1/2 hours before the concert. Score!

I went home, had a quick dinner and headed to the will call window, thereby bypassing the line of people waiting to enter. Another score!

Yeah - I was really in the front row and ready for the concert to begin.

Billy Gibbons

Dusty Hill

There were a few interesting songs in their set, including Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" and Buck Owens/The Beatles' "Act Naturally." However, the big ZZ Top monster hits were the highlight of the show. "Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs" were in the main set and an extended version of "La Grange" and "Tush" were the first encore. They ended the night with a second encore of Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock."

As with poker, sometimes life circumstances seem really crappy ... until  you catch that one outer on the river. Getting a front row ticket to a sold out concert hours before the show -- a clear demonstration of what clean living can do for you! As Brad Hamilton said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: "Learn it. Know it. Live it."

Thanks for reading!


Blogger thundering36 said...

Are they Amish? They look kind of Amish, especially the sheepskin around that guitar.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Ace said...

Nice to see Lady Luck escorting you to the front row seat!

6:28 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Talk about a one-outer ...

7:14 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Nice, real nice.

8:36 AM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Better to be lucky than good. Looked like a great time

8:53 PM  
Blogger Tino said...

Cool! I saw them in 1991 at the Garden in NYC. The Recycler tour. They came out on stage with a crane. The crane dropped it's bucket, opened it up and one player came out in a little car, racing around the stage. The crane when back and picked up and dropped off the other players in cars and they raced around the stage. When they played, they were on floor conveyor belts, going back and forth on the stage, left to right. Was an awesome show I will never forget. Thanks for writing about your score and bringing back that great show memory.

10:12 PM  

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