ZZ Top Play First Concert Since Dusty Hill's Death

Bruce Henne | 08-03-2021

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(hennemusic) ZZ Top played their first show since the passing of bassist Dusty Hill last week at the age of 72 and some fan-filmed video footage from the concert has been shared online.

Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard were joined by longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis on bass at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, AL on July 30; Francis had already performed with the duo after Hill left the recently-launched tour following its opening week "to address a hip issue."

On July 28, ZZ Top announced that Hill "had passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX" as both the band and its fans processed the news.

"I had a couple of moments with the waterworks coming and going," Gibbons tells Variety, "and I really felt a sense of relief. I said, 'Gee whiz, maybe I am human after all.' This is coming from a very deep and glorious place, with respect to knowing that after 50 years with the guy, we were all joined at the hip."

It was Hill who instructed his bandmates to carry on while he stepped away from the tour for some medical attention.

"Knowing that we can take his wishes forward and give him all due respect...," adds the guitarist, "You know, he was adamant. He said, 'I'm going to go down and see what's up. In the meantime, the show must go on. Don't forget it.' And he was pointing his finger and shaking it. [Laughs.]"

According to Rolling Stone, Gibbons acknowledged Hill a few times during the Tuscaloosa performance, as well as his desire for the band to continue on without him.

"We're gonna have a good time in here tonight," Gibbons told the audience early in the evening. "Got a new guy up here, as you know. Dusty gave me the directive. My friend, your pal, Elwood Francis is gonna hold it down behind me." Watch video from the show here.

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