ZZ Top has a new “drive” back on the Strip
The new bassist of ZZ Top, Elwood Francis, do not pinch with his fingers.
He uses a pickaxe instead.
This simple technique is what we will call “Impacting”.
Francis has created a new drive in this 50-year-old group.
“This is one of the hallmarks of Elwood’s playing, using a pick, and it only sharpened the attack,” ZZ Top guitarist, singer and co-founder Billy F. Gibbons said. “He can really dig. He adds a boost to the songs which is really nice.”
Francis, the band’s guitarist for 30 years, is on stage with Gibbons and Frank Beard as ZZ Top returns to the Venetian Theater from Friday to November 16. The group’s co-founder and bassist, Dusty Hill, died on July 28 at the age of 72.
ZZ Top stopped briefly in his honor, then hit the road again, which Hill told Gibbons he wanted. Gibbons also honored Hill’s request that Francis step in and continue the show.
Gibbons says the response to the updated lineup has been “quite interesting and robust”. Francis looks part of the game, sporting a beard and cheap sunglasses while playing boogie-woogie. He was adopted by the band’s legions of fans.
“The second night I looked in the audience and saw not one, not two, but three giant pieces of cardboard saying, ‘We love you Elwood!’ Gibbons said. “He graciously accepted the mission.
The show will be adapted to his location in Las Vegas, with a trio of showgirls who will rock him for “Viva Las Vegas”. It was Hill’s song originally.
In a tale famous in ZZ Top circles, Gibbons had his old friend sing it about 30 years ago, while touring the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, La.
Elvis had performed in this hall in 1954 and 1955 during the legendary Louisiana Hayride concerts.
Hill sang the song from that point on, including previous shows in Las Vegas. The clip was shot on Fremont Street.
“We’ll have, and I’ll sing it now, as a sort of tribute,” Gibbons said. “This show will be a little different. We’ve added a few favorite tracks that we’ve opened up for fans to request online. We have a few favorite titles that were missing from the series.
“Those lucky enough to join us at the Venetian will be treated to something old, new and everything in between.”
Adèle, Garth … and you
Maybe someone should build a place called The Rumor Mill. Adele and Garth Brooks seem to take up space there, anyway. Twitter’s latest martial art took them both to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace next year.
Well, rumor has it that Adele will be performing at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, the Theater at Resorts World, the Park Theater at Park MGM, and the Colosseum. Three of them have been verified, without verification, in the past eight weeks.
But his new song, for sure, will be called “Easy On Me”, which will be released on October 15th.
We checked with the usual suspects for Adele’s options, and there is no confirmation of her reservation in Las Vegas. If / when this actually happens, we will report it.
As for Brooks, we spoke to him about Las Vegas, in July just before his concert at Allegiant Stadium.
Yes, Brooks told us, he is interested in a residency in Las Vegas. He returned to his days at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, where he was headlining from 2009 to 2014.
That level of privacy would need to be rekindled for him to be the head of yet another Strip residency show.
“I have to tell you, I don’t know how comfortable this town is Steve Wynn, but what Steve Wynn has done is make it a very intimate night out, and that’s what I’m looking for, ”said Brooks. “Some of these places, like the guys at the Park or the Caesars have – and they’re all cute guys – they have these big places, 4,000, 5,000 seats, that are all over the place. They’re a little harder to play in a one-man show or in a band. So you just wait and see what happens, but anything intimate, anything sincere, is right in my alley.
This summer catch doesn’t disqualify any venue, of course. But we can anticipate Trisha Bois of the Year appearing on a Brooks show on the Strip. As he said, “I think it’s a no-brainer to do a Garth-and-Trisha show.”
The Roth report
Not quite news, but David lee roth sold all five performances from Dec.31 to Jan.31. 8 at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. That means the original seating set is gone, with tickets available in the aftermarket (where balcony seats cost $ 1,270 at the time of writing).
Roth’s bombshell that he is retiring after the Jan. 8 show has certainly increased the demand for that show. And, in quintessential Roth style, January 8 is Elvis’ birthday too.
We still confirm the accompanying group for the Roth race. He had a trio of mean, pointy guys in his 2020 streak. No names have come up. Maybe drummer Alex Van Halen will join the fray in what Roth says are the last shows to be performed by any version of Van Halen. We will be there no matter what.
Cool Hang Alert
A vintage Vegas shot is on display Sunday at the Italian American club showroom. Singers Mark OToole, Geneviève and Corrie Sachs star in “This is IT”, with Ned mills as musical director. This is a unique show for three talented and experienced show people. Doors are at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., and the show at 8:00 a.m. Tickets cost $ 65; visit the IAC website for additional data.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Las Vegas Sands operates The Venetian.
John Katsilometes column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.