“Live From Texas” [Blu-ray] by ZZ Top

Artist: ZZ Top
Title: “Live From Texas” [Blu-ray]
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 6/24/2008
Genre: Blues Rock
Rating: 4/5

Having reviewed this DVD when it originally was released on standard edition DVD and finding no real difference other than the presentation on the Blu-ray medium I am re-presenting my words about this issue for those fans who might not own it yet. Please continue.

You’ve heard their songs on the radio for years and cannot deny the instant appeal of their Blues-based Rock sound and yet despite the bands juggernaut level of success there has never been a concert video released from them – until now. Thanks to the folks at Eagle Rock Entertainment, “Live From Texas” captures the power trio on home ground and this release is chock full of the hits that made them famous along with a number of other treats from their back catalog. The band was formed in 1969 and since that time has not had a single lineup change over the almost forty years that they have existed. It’s pretty admirable considering just how many groups have come and gone over that time and how ZZ Top has kept going strong while peers from their early days are finding the need to come out of retirement and do reunion shows with less than half original members. The show presented on this DVD was filmed at the Nokia Theater in Dallas, TX in 2008 and it is sure to keep anyone who watches it entertained. It starts off with “Got Me Under Pressure” from the bands breakthrough “Eliminator” album, and for those interested, the DVD features all four of the main tracks from that release (“Legs”, “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Sharp Dressed Man”). Just the mention of those three tunes makes the videos play through in my mind. Visually this is not much to watch because the band is not as much known for antics and showmanship as much as they are for musicianship and groove. If you are looking for super-bombastic display, then you might find this rather dull, but if you want some awesome music then just sit back and press play as this one delivers the goods. Clearly the almost four decade span of their career has not slowed down the talents of Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard who perform as tight as well fitted glove on each and every tune. Additional classics featured are of course “Cheap Sunglasses” and “Tush” but absent are songs like “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” which I found to be a little bit of a bummer. With the latter tune having been done by the likes of Lemmy and Ministry, it only serves as a rousing endorsement about the level of impact that this band actually has. Despite my slight and minor reservations about some of the omissions there are clearly enough inclusions of note to make this a rock solid presentation.

There is a booklet that comes along with the sleek packaging and this features not only some cool photos from the film but also a great commentary by Tom Vickers. Vickers is a friend of the band who has also co-authored Billy Gibbons cars and guitars book. If anyone would know them then he is the proper choice for such commentary. The single disc DVD also delivers some bonus features which will extend the levels of pleasure found from watching this one.

Bonus Features: Poker Game, Dallas Show Day, Photo Shoot, Foxey Lady.

*** I really am finding myself uninterested in the presentation of photo shoots as bonus features on DVD’s these days and I am guessing because with all the available images online that there is no need to waste otherwise usable space on a DVD for it. That being said there are still a few fine features on the “Live In Texas” film and the first one is the segment that finds the band playing a game of Poker backstage. The card game itself isn’t all that interesting but it is the topic of discussion that is, for it is here that the guys are recalling the bands first meeting and how the bands they were involved in at the time led them to forming the group that has become so beloved over the decades. It is candid and honest, and makes for an interesting sitting to watch. We get a quick backstage tour film that shows some of the preparation that goes into a ZZ Top concert and those are often interesting. Viewers will be impressed to see that many of the bands crew has been with them for a long, long time. The final feature in the bonus footage is the bands cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady” and while it’s a fine rendition I was confused as to why this wasn’t just left in the main concert where it could have been easiest to enjoy.

This is a worthwhile recommendation for those who wish to see a fine band who are still performing at their best after a very long and productive career. It is said that a CD audio version will follow this in the near future and while I would have preferred to see this included with this package that would not be the case. My only reservation about the film is that we didn’t see the famous Eliminator car making an appearance anywhere but man would that have been cool.

If you don’t already own this release and you have the means to view the upgraded aspects of the Blu-ray medium then I suggest that you invest your money wisely and buy this one. Should you already own the standard edition version and be over the roof about it, then perhaps you should give this edition a look at and put your original one on Amazon.com for sale or make a present of it to someone special.

Track Listing:
1. Got Me Under Pressure
2. Waitin’ On The Bus
3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
4. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
5. Pin Cushion
6. Cheap Sunglasses
7. Pearl Necklace
8. Heard It On The X
9. Just Got Paid
10. Rough Boy
11. Blue Jean Blues
12. Gimme All Your Lovin’
13. Sharp Dressed Man
14. Legs
15. Tube Snake Boogie
16. La Grande
17. Tush

Official Website: http://www.zztop.com

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