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ZZ Top stages

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slade  & ZZ Top Syracuse 1975 ticket slade in englandThat "Little Ole Band from Texas," ZZ Top, was back in town again last night at the War Memorial, exciting an audience of 4,000 with its Texas boogie music. Sharing the bill was the British group, Slade.

Syracuse area rock patrons have been lucky in being able to see this group so frequently during its rise to the top of the field. They have been able to follow that meteoric rise from warm up group status to that of superstars with hot selling albums and SRO concerts.

Just what is the sound that has seen ZZ Top break attendance records from Los Angeles, to Nashville, to New Orleans? Well, there's an obvious country influence, as demonstrated last night, but country-rock is not an accurate description.

It's more a blues rock type of, raw energy, powerful, funky music. They call it Southwestern rock or Texas boogie, but enthusiasts feel good time music is a better phrase.

Although most of its success has been in the South and Southwest, this three member combo, dressed in cowboy boots and ten gallon hats, had fans uproarious in appreciation of selections from all four of its gold albums.

Such hard driving hits from the first three albums as "Chevrolet," "Precious and Grace," "Beer Drinkers and Hell raisers" and "La Grange" were complimented by selections from the new album, "Fandango," including "Heard It On The X," "Balinese" and " Blue Jean Blues."

Unlike most rock trios, ZZ Top has been able to distill a very distinctive sound with a variety of vibrations. Dusty Hill's bass builds the foundation and fills in the rhythm which allows drummer Frank Beard much more freedom to improvise.

Billy Gibbons produces the chords on the lead guitar which give the sound its razor sharpness. Both guitarists took turns with the vocals, although there was a problem early in the concert in hearing them.

Slade, a rhythm 'n' blues boogie band from London, was also well received by the enthusiastic audience last night.

Although its popularity seems to be on the wane since it was here last, headlining its own concert, the quartet was determined the audience have a good time.

Such numbers as "Them Kinda Monkeys Can't Swing," " Goodbye to Jane," "Thanks for the Memories," "How Does It Feel," " Let the Good Times Roll" and "A Little Bit" were proof of talent, but there seems to be something lacking here.

Perhaps if Slade concentrated more on its own style and less on being glitter type imitations of Led Zepplin, that void might be filled.





From the archive of Chris Selby

Transposed by David Graham

Ticket: Slade In England




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