Thursday, 9 July 2020

ZZ Top live in Athens September 2009

After coming back from Udine, the last stop of my tour of Italy with Bruce Springsteen in 2009 there was only one summer concert left: U2 at Cardiff in Wales. After that, it was back to concerts in Greece with the first one being ZZ Top in Athens in September 2009. And as it was autumn by now, we were back to indoor venues.
My first encounter with ZZ Top was back at the beginning of the 80's. My brother wanted to buy a record that would have been representative of country music. He had decided on Johnny Cash. But when he announced it to his friends he got this reply: "Not Johnny Cash you w***er, ZZ Top". (You see, the Greek "rockers" did not consider Johnny Cash to be "rock enough" back then. So he bought "The Best Of ZZ Top" and that's how I got familiar with songs like "Tush", "Blue Jean Blues" and "La Grange". Unfortunately my brother did not like ZZ Top so he sold the record and bought something by Johnny Cash instead, as was his original intention. I finally managed to find "The Best Of ZZ Top" on CD when I went to the States in 2000. I can therefore claim that I've known them before "Eliminator" which was when the rest of the world became aware of them.
So, on the night of the concert, after I had picked up a couple of friends from Katerini (a town in northern Greece) at the nearby Karaiskaki Stadium, we made our way to the Tae Kwon Do Arena using the tram. Once inside, support was provided by Skelters and quite enjoyable they were, too. They even played a cover of the Beatles' "Come Together".

I would have expected Down & Out to be the support that night (a Greek band, one of this blog's favourites along with their later transformation as The Big Nose Attack, who had supported ZZ Top on the Sofia, Skopje and Istanbul dates of that particular tour), but it wasn't to be.
Anyway by now, it was time for ZZ Top to come on. With plenty of songs from their old(er) albums saving the trio of "Eliminator" favourites for the end of their normal set. They even spoke in Greek with a woman (presumably one of the organizers) before they launched into "Future Blues".

But that wasn't enough for the crowd who started chanting "Z-Z-TOP" repeatedly while we were running away from the main arena and onto the upper level in order to get a different (though not necessarily better) point of view. And they did indeed came out again, not just for one but for two encores.

That was the end of the concert, but not the end of the night for us. We left the south of Athens and moved to the center of the city where in what was our favourite bar at that time, a friend of ours was throwing her birthday party, which soon turned into a Bruce Springsteen party as was usual in those days...

01. Got Me Under Pressure
02. Waitin' For The Bus
03. Jesus Just Left Chicago
04. Pincushion
05. I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
06. Future Blues
07. Cheap Sunglasses
08. Goin' Down To Mexico
09. My Head's In Mississippi
10. I Need You Tonight
11. I Love The Woman
12. Party On The Patio
13. Foxy Lady
14. Just Got Paid
15. Gimme All Your Lovin'
16. Sharp Dressed Man
17. Legs
18. La Grange
19. Tush
20. Tube Snake Boogie

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