Thursday, June 05, 2008


We’ve been here before,” Billy Gibbons said, “…the same three guys, playin’ the same three cords!

ZZ Top has played Knoxville, Tennessee several times in the past, but back then it was to larger crowds at the coliseum. Tuesday night they played to a packed house of around 1600 at the grand Tennessee Theater. Ron, Gary, and I were three of the best entertained ol’ rockers there!

Prior to the concert, which started at 8 PM, we dined at the Downtown Grill and Brewery, which is a tradition with most concert goers. Ron always goes for the White Mule and I go for the Downtown Alt pale ale! Gary tries them, but loves his Miller Lite more.

Ron went for the big burger and fries, Gary and, for the first time, I tried the “Burro,” a gigantic burrito with beans and rice that repeated on me all night long! I didn’t mind though, it just served to remind me of the delicious meal I had!

After a little walk around Market Square, and another beer at the Preservation Pub we made it to the Tennessee Theater and ordered another round before taking our seats in the balcony.

The seats offered me the advantage of being able to steady my pocket Nikon on the railing, and use my zoom. I think they turned out pretty well for a little camera that easily hides in any pocket! Note the one with the shadow of Billy Gibbons on the wall. Ron pointed this out to me and I just had to get it. It you notice, there is a larger shadow that appears to be a cowboy wearing a hit! I don’t think this was intentional, just a coincidence of the lighting setup.

Blackberry Smoke,” a very good “southern rock” band kicked things off with about 45 minutes to an hour of hard hitting rock, sounding very much like early Lynyrd Skynyrd. I really enjoyed them and will be downloading some of their songs soon!

Billy recalled one of his first trips to Knoxville, explaining that he experienced an earthquake here worst than any he had in California. I had a room up in the Hyatt House (called the Marriott today), but I slept in the bus that night! Then the next morning I learned that a garbage truck had backed into the building!”

What do ya wa’na hear?” he asked, as the crowd began shouting out their favorites. It don’t matter ‘cause yer go’na hear’em all tonight! And we did!

There were two songs where the primary mics were over driven, but the rest of the song lyrics were easily discernable. The music, well, it was ZZ Top and it rocked us for about two hours.

The best part was that I was home in bed by 11:30, a little buzzy from the pale ales and the amplifiers! Life is grand.

Make these larger by clicking on them, and check out more photos on my Flickr page.


Scott from Oregon said...

OMG Lucky bastard!

I still have Tom Waits in a 100 seat quanset hut on ya, but this is way cool...

Mushy said...

Yeah, Tom's going to be here soon, but I won't be here to see him. I regret that...he's a favorite.

Suldog said...

Saw ZZ Top way back when, 1975(?) at the old Boston Garden. Great stuff!

Reminds me of something funny: I was listening to a Barenaked Ladies album the other day. It's geared towards kids (real children, that is) and one of the songs is an alphabet song. In it, the singer talks about how Z is pronounced "zed" in Canada. Later on, he says, "... and that famous musical group, Zed Zed Top." Cracked me up!

pat houseworth said...

Smaller crowds and venues are better, unless of course you are just out to get your eardrums busted and are drunk/stoned at the time....then large crowds could be OK.

Chris said...

Glad you had a great time. I should have gone since I've never seen them live. Your part about being home by 11:30 cracked me up, because when I was younger, I'd never get home before 2 after a concert but now, I'd be like you, home right after the show.

Mushy said...

Sul - Zed Zed was great!

Pat - I usually take ear plugs just in case, but forgot them. It was fine. The only time I've needed them there was with the Black Crowes played - you needed them to understand the words!

I saw Alabama once and thought since it was country I wouldn't need them...boy was I wrong. I was on the front row left in front of the speakers! I was like that fellow in that commercial where he keeps getting shoved actually hurt until I found some tissue to stuff in my ears!

Chris - Should have could have bought me a beer! That venue is easy to attend even if you work, especially if you live in Knoxville.

Debbie said...

Hubby and I saw ZZ Top in Jackson Tennessee in 1972. I thought they were old then, ha. Of course hubby and I were just babies.

Mushy, you have entirely TOO MUCH FUN. I wish I lived closer to you.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Debbie said...

p.s. When we sas ZZ Top, I asked hubby what all that smoke was in the coliseum. It didn't take me long to figure that out. People sitting all around us were smoking pot. I was such a sweet innocent young woman, I had never been anywhere that folks were smoking pot or anything else, ha.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Mushy said...

Sounds like an Eagles concert I saw in '78 or '79 in Knoxville!

Shrinky said...

Hubby is sitting at my elbow and as green as a pea - he loves ZZ Top, actually we both do. Sounds a fab time was had by all - and yes, home by 11.30 sounds just about as close to a perfect night as could be. Grin.

That 1 Guy said...

Man, I'm jealous. I've never gotten to see them...

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Glad you had a great time. I loved seein' them here last year. You lucked out on the lead up band. The one we had was totally forgettable.

And yea, when we went to the Joe Cocker/Steve Miller thing the other week, there was a brief waft of a familiar smell once or twice. I thought it was hilarious. That smoke used to fill the room back in the old days. I remember seeing Yes in about 77 or 78 and watching the smoke level actually descend as the concert went on. Came home wreaking of the stuff, but was too innocent to partake. What can I say. I've been stupid for a LONG time.

Oh, and great shots man, as usual.

*Goddess* said...

"Clean shirt, new shoes
And I dont know where I am goin to.
Silk suit, black tie,
I dont need a reason why.
They come runnin just as fast as they can
Coz every girl crazy bout a sharp dressed man."

Sharp Dressed Man & Rough favorites;)

Richard Turner said...

That was a great show indeed... I love the venue interior. 45 minutes to an hour? That just shows what a good time you really had... we are only allowed a strict 30 minute set with ZZ. We just finished a deal with iTunes, so our first cd is available there.. the new cd drops in the fall I believe. There is a 'bootleg' we put out by ourselves that is available the 18th of June.. it does not contain songs on the 'proper' cd, just 4-5 cuts that did not make the record... Nice Blog! RT/BBS


Mushy said...

Thanks for leaving the comment Richard...Blackberry Smoke will be part of my "tunes" from here on!

Come back soon dude!

~Fathairybastard~ said...