In April 1980, ZZ Top packed up their Texas-shaped stage, embarking on their first ever European tour. The band was filmed live for their very first night performing for the German music television show Rockpalast, telecasting live across much of Western Europe by Eurovision.
Fans whistle and cheer to the brief intro of “El Degüello” following “I Thank You,” a song originally written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes, recorded by Sam And Dave in 1969. Going straight into ZZ Top’s trademark boogie rock is “Waitin’ For The Bus,” sliding in after is “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” a southern blues tune about turning muddy water into wine.
Once Billy Gibbons is done singing “Fool For Your Stocking,” the band continues to do a light vamp as Gibbons talks about different crosses one must bear within life. This is the only part of the album that includes a live one-liner. After a brief cheer, the band offers up their hit single, “Cheap Sunglasses.” Gibbons’ guitar wails and screams on “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers,” with backup vocals by Dusty Hill. Towards the end of the album, they throw in a medley of “La Grange/Sloppy Drunk/Bar-B-Q,” ending with two covers “Dust My Broom” by Elmore James and Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” with the very end of the album ending with ZZ Top’s 12-bar blues hit, “Tush.”
These songs were performed to perfection and recorded clear and clean. However, I was expecting more of a live ambiance; more one-liners in-between songs and more reactions from the fans.
In A Word: Sterile