Bill Graham built his reputation as a legendary rock promoter through producing fantastic double bills at his Fillmore venues in San Francisco and New York throughout the '60s that paired artists who on the surface may not appear to have much in common but were artistically simpatico.
While the industry has largely moved away from Graham's practice in favor of booking big-time headliners with smaller opening acts, the pairing of ZZ Top with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on the current leg of the Mojo tour feels like something Graham might have put together back in his hey day.
This felt especially true in Dallas when ZZ Top took the stage to rapturous applause at the Superpages.com Center. The Texas trio absolutely rocked for 90 straight minutes, rifling through their hits while also finding time to tip their hats to Jimi Hendrix with a spine-tingling "Hey Joe."
"What a beautiful night for rock 'n roll!" Tom said as he stepped to the microphone after "I Won't Back Down." What a beautiful night indeed. After a sexy, drawn-out version of "Breakdown," Tom introduced the band. Following Mike Campbell's intro, a gorgeous brunette waltzed out instead of Chinner, Mikeâs guitar tech, to deliver his Gibson Les Paul for "Jefferson Jericho Blues." Wide grins and laughs spread across the stage as band members stared in Mike's direction with envy.
Without missing a beat, Tom stepped to the mike, glanced back at Mike and said, "Man, I need a new guitar stand!"
Tulsa, here we come! Remember to check back for more from the Mojo tour!