Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008
Tonight @ the Riverside Theater - 8 p.m.
While so many classic rock bands lost their way in the 1980s, ZZ Top actually found theirs. Instead of boogieing with just the traditional blues guitars, they boogied with guitars and cutting-edge synthesizers, scoring some of the biggest hits of their career, songs like “Legs” and “Gimmie All Your Lovin’.” Those synths turned out to be a blessing and a curse, though, as the band found it hard to evolve beyond the dated, robotic grooves that made them a fortune. Their scattered attempts to kick the keyboards cold turkey inevitably failed, so Rick Rubin, of all people, has volunteered to be the band’s latest sponsor. The enigmatic producer is working on a new ZZ Top album that promises to return the band to their classic, ’70s sound—a promising sign, since returning bands to their classic sounds is what Rubin does best these days. In advance of that new album, ZZ Top plays an 8 p.m. show at the Riverside Theater tonight with openers Blackberry Smoke.