Valdosta — They say practice makes perfect, so with almost 40 years under their belt to perfect their distinctive bluesy-rock sound, ZZ Top should put on one great show at Wild Adventures on Saturday.
Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard have comprised ZZ Top since the band’s inception in 1969 and hold the distinction of being one of the few bands that has endured the years without any personnel changes. Forming in Houston, Texas, the band toured and cut two albums in their first three years, but it wasn’t until the release of their third effort, “Tres Hombres,” in 1973 that the band gained wider recognition.
ZZ Top’s third album contained “LaGrange,” a song that is now considered one of classic rock’s best. Throughout the rest of the ’70s, the band produced such hits as “Tush,” “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide,” “Cheap Sunglasses” and “I Thank You.” In 1981, the band struck gold again with “Pearl Necklace,” “Got Me Under Pressure” and “Tube Snake Boogie.”
Another 1981 phenomenon would take ZZ Top’s career to a newer height. With the advent of MTV, the band found a new creative avenue. Adding a synthesizer sound to their blues-rock base, ZZ Top became one of the first bands to produce music videos that were not simply a variation of the standard “band in concert” production. Sporting their trademark sunglasses and beards (ironically, despite his name, Frank Beard is the only member with simply a mustache) the band told a humorous story in each video, scoring big with numbers such as “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”
Hits continued through the rest of the 80’s and 90’s for ZZ Top including “Sleeping Bag,” “My Head’s in Mississippi,” “Rough Boy” and “Pin Cushion.” They continued to tour and produce albums and were finally inducted into Rock & Roll’s Hall of Fame in 2004. The late Cub Koda, legendary Blues artist and historian, noted that “As genuine roots musicians, they have few peers; Gibbons is one of America’s finest blues guitarists working in the hard rock idiom ... while Hill and Beard provide the ultimate rhythm section support.”
The show starts at 6:30 p.m. with opening act Blackberry Smoke. The concert is included in the price of park admission and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to set up. Reserve seats are also available for an additional charge of $25 and can be ordered by phone at (229) 219-7080, option 2 or online at www.wildadventures.net.
Reserve seats do not include park admission which must be purchased separately.
The concert tops off a day of fun at Wild Adventures with more than 50 rides, including nine coasters; Splash Island Water Park, hundreds of wild animals and daily shows. Regular admission is just $45 and junior/senior admission is $40. Both include a second-day free.