Merriweather Post Pavilion | Columbia, Maryland
This Saturday, September 2nd, 2023, Merriweather Post Pavilion hosts two of rock musics icons, giants of the music industry with beards as legendary as they are, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top co-headline the "The Sharp Dressed Simple Man" Tour and you absolutely need to be there. After 50 years of rocking around the world, neither band shows signs of slowing down, and now is the very best time to grab yourself some tickets for an all out legendary gig, undoubtedly one of the most exciting and unforgettable nights of your life.
The seminal debut album by Lynyrd Skynyrd, will turn 50 in 2023, but the band have remained popular with fans of all ages. They are among the few bands to have had such an indelible impact on a culture. Their continued efforts are motivated by a desire to honor a legacy that has touched the lives of hundreds of millions around the globe.
Band members past and present, such as Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Steve Gaines, Ed King, Billy Powell, Bob Burns, Leon Wilkeson, and Hughie Thomasson, have all been immortalized by the band's enduring discography and storied past. Johnny Van Zant, Rickey Medlocke, Mark "Sparky" Matejka, Michael Cartellone, Keith Christopher, Peter Keys, Carol Chase, Stacy Michelle and occasional, but impactful appearances by Gary Rossington.
They are always on the road, and lead singer Ronnie Van Zant has said, "It's a look at the meaning of Lynyrd Skynyrd to its legion of devoted followers." Nothing beats hitting the road with Skynyrd and delivering a stellar performance for our devoted audience. Rossington says it best: "We're still here, and we're still rocking out." We had to maintain a spotless reputation for the memory of our fallen comrades. Lynyrd Skynyrd, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have sold tens of millions of records and been streamed by billions of people.
Their unique blend of rock, blues, and boogie has been delighting their legions of devoted fans for well over half a century. Beards, hot rods, spinning guitars, and the mythical "magic keychain" are as much a part of the ZZ TOP brand as the band's music, helping them break down barriers of language, geography, and culture. The members of two Houston, Texas bands, Billy Gibbons' Moving Sidewalks and Frank Beard and Dusty Hill's American Blues, came together in 1969 to form ZZ TOP.
In 1973, ZZ Top released the album, Tres Hombres, which featured the massive hit "La Grange," which is still one of the band's most recognizable songs. The release of Eliminator in 1983 marked a turning point in the band's career, featuring songs like "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs," which became early favorites on the music video network, the band stayed true to its bluesy roots while adding hi-tech flourishes. The album was certified "Diamond" by the record industry shortly after its release, becoming one of the first to achieve such a feat.
In the last 50 years, no other band has played for as many people on as many different continents as That Little Ol' Band From Texas, whose documentary was nominated for a Grammy. For well over half a century, the band's steady core has consisted of Gibbons, Hill, and Beard (who, ironically, doesn't sport a beard). Elwood Francis has been filling in for Dusty on bass guitar since the summer of 2021, when Dusty had to take a break from the tour.
ZZ TOP's internal motto, "Tone, Taste, and Tenacity," sums up the band's best qualities. They seem to be on a solitary quest for authentic roots music. Blues pioneers like Muddy Waters and B.B. King have influenced ZZ Top, as have more modern artists like Jimi Hendrix and British blues rockers. They have made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after selling millions of records and being mocked in countless cartoons and TV shows (by Keith Richards, no less).