ZZ Top

Sunset Station Amphitheater, Oct. 1

There are many times in our lives when we face the dilemma of having to decide between quality and quantity, but a rock concert is one place you hope to get plenty of both. Unfortunately, the legendary “little ol’ band from Texas” left many of its fans feeling shortchanged after delivering a set that was big on hits but short on time. The Saturday-night outdoor setting seemed perfect for a great evening, and the band obliged early with fuzz-toned rocker “Got Me Under Pressure” and bluesy classic “Waitin’ for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago.” With four decades of songs to draw from, frontman Billy Gibbons teased fans with promises of “a lot of old stuff, a lot of new stuff,” but the 16-song set fell far short of that. Yes, the enthusiastic crowd was rewarded with boogie-and-blues favorites “Cheap Sunglasses” and “Just Got Paid,” while a trio of tunes—“Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs”—highlighted ZZ Top’s MTV-fueled 1980s-era superstardom. But after performing hard-driving classics “La Grange” and “Tush,” the band left the stage without so much as a goodbye after a quick hour and 20 minutes. Many fans remained in their seats even after the house lights came on, convinced there was still more to come. With tickets ranging up to $150 and with such a bountiful catalog of songs to draw from, ZZ Top owed their fans more than they delivered.

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For many fans, this band—with its moody, evocative lyrics—is the truest measure of “emo” music. And it seems that even the weather took notice of their arrival, framing the Boulevard Pool with temperamental skies. From the opening chords of “Four Winds” to the passionate “Calendar Hung Itself,” a very high-energy Bright Eyes showcased one perfectly crafted song after another. They played a wide range of tunes from all their albums, but the evening’s high point was “Lover I Don’t Have to Love,” from Lifted.

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