ZZ Top Returns to Stage Following Dusty Hill’s Death

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Billy Gibbons (R) with Elwood Francis at ZZ Top’s July 30, 2021 concert in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Two days after sharing the news of the passing of their “Compadre,” Dusty Hill, the two remaining members of ZZ Top–Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard–returned to the stage to resume the band’s tour last night (July 30, 2021) at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater in Alabama.

The group’s “Celebration With ZZ Top” had begun on July 16, after a sixteen-month hiatus, necessitated by the worldwide pandemic. Hill’s final performance was at the third date of the tour, on July 18, in Louisville, Ky. The bassist left the tour for what was described as a “hip issue” and never returned. At the time, their statement noted, “The show must go on!” and in the interim, ZZ Top began using their guitar tech for the past two decades, on bass guitar, slide and harmonica.

Watch the opening number

Following an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd after they opened with “Got Me Under Pressure,” Gibbons addressed the audience. “We’re gonna have a good time here tonight,” he said. He then introduced the group’s longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, on bass guitar. “Dusty gave me the directive,” he said as the band launched into their cover of Sam & Dave’s “I Thank You.”

Watch Gibbons address the audience

The group has scores of U.S. concerts remaining through the rest of the year. A Canadian tour is scheduled for 2022. See all the dates below. (The band has previously indicated that even more shows are coming.)

Watch the band perform “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” at the July 30 concert

Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, the band’s last in-person performance took place at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020. Then came an unprecedented layover for Gibbons, Hill and Beard, who marked ZZ Top’s Golden Anniversary last year. When the tour was announced, Hill said, “They shut the door right after our 50th anniversary tour and now it’s back open. We’re excited to get out there and play our music for everybody.”

Related: Dusty Hill died on July 28, 2021, at age 72

At the time, Beard added, “To say we’re looking forward to getting back out on the road and performing in front of real people is the understatement of the last 16 months, if not the century.”

Here’s a little more from Reverend Billy at the July 30 concert.

[Thanks to Logan James, William Justice and Metal Speck for the clips.]

Watch the final song from what proved to be Hill’s last performance on July 18, 2021

ZZ Top 2021 Tour (Tickets are available here)

Jul 16 – Manchester, IA – Delaware County Fair
Jul 17 – Mt Pleasant, MI – Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Jul 18 – Louisville, KY – Waterfront Park (Dusty Hill’s final performance)
Jul 21 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center
Jul 23 – New Lenox, IL – Village Commons
Jul 24 – Goshen, IN – Elkhart County 4-H Fair
Jul 25 – Corbin, KY – Corbin Arena
Jul 28 – Simpsonville, SC – CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park (Postponed)
Jul 30 – Tuscaloosa, AL – Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
Jul 31 – Valdosta, GA – Wild Adventures
Aug 01 – Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
Aug 03 – Little Rock, AR – First Security Amphitheater
Aug 04 – Alexandria, LA – Rapides Paris Coliseum
Aug 06 – Camdenton, MO – Lake Ozarks Amphitheatre
Aug 07 – Washington, MO – Washington Town & Country Fair
Aug 08 – Bonner Springs, KS – Azura Amphitheater
Aug 11 – Sturgis, SD – Buffalo Chip Campground
Aug 12 – Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Aug 14 – Reno, NV – Reno Ballroom – Silver Legacy Casino
Aug 15 – Grande Ronde, OR – Spirit Mountain Casino
Aug 17 – Jacksonville, OR – Britt Pavilion
Aug 19 – Maryville, WA – Tulalip Amphitheater
Aug 20 – Lewiston, ID – Clearwater River Casino
Aug 21 – Missoula, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater
Aug 24 – Englewood, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
Sep 11 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest – Henry Maier Festival Park
Sep 12 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
Sep 14 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights
Sep 15 – Cedar Rapids, IA – Alliant Energy PowerHouse
Sep 17 – Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cover at Harrah’s Casino
Sep 18 – Pryor, OK – Born & Raised Festival
Sep 19 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre
Sep 21 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Coliseum
Sep 22 – Doswell, VA – Meadow Event Park
Sep 23 – Frederick, MD – Frederick Fairgrounds
Sep 25 – Watertown, NY – Watertown Fairgrounds Baseball Diamond
Sep 26 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Sep 28 – North Charleston, SC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Sep 30 – Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium @ The Macon Centreplex
Oct 01 – Tupelo, MS – BancorpSouth Arena
Oct 02 – Lake Charles, LA – Golden Nugget
Oct 04 – Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena
Oct 08 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
Oct 09 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
Oct 10 – Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort
Oct 13 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
Oct 15 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
Oct 16 – Las Vegas, NV – The Venetian Theatre
Nov 6 – Key West, FL – Key West Amphitheater
Nov 09 – Tampa, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Nov 11 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock International
Nov 13 – Fort Myers, FL – Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
Nov 14 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre
Nov 16 – Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts
Nov 17 – Savannah, GA – Johnny Mercer Theater
Nov 20 – Wilmington, NC – Cape Fear Community College
Nov 21- Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
Nov 23 – Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theatre
Nov 27 – Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Center
Nov 28 – Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Center
Dec 03 – Biloxi, MS – IP Casino Resort and Hotel
Dec 04 – Shreveport, LA – Municipal Auditorium
Dec 05 – Wichita Falls, TX – Memorial Auditorium
Dec 07 – Abilene, TX – Taylor County Coliseum
Dec 11 – El Paso, TX – Abraham Chavez Theatre
Dec 12 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

2022 Tour

Apr 23 – Abborsford, BC – Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
Apr 24 – Penticton, BC – South Okanagen Events Centre
Apr 26 – Kamloops, BC – Sandman Centre
Apr 27 – Lethbridge, AB – ENMAX Centre
Apr 29 – Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Center
Apr 30 – Enoch, AB – River Cree Resort & Casino
May 03 – Brandon, MB – Keystone Centre
May 04 – Niagara Falls, ON – Fallsview Casino Resort
May 08 – Laval, QC – Place Bell
May 10 – Halifax, NS – Halifax Scotiabank Centre
May 13 – St. John’s, NL – Mile One Centre
May 14 – St. John’s, NL – Mile One Centre

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. mick62
    #1 mick62 1 August, 2021, 06:54

    God bless you, Dusty. Sorely missed.

    Good luck to Elwood.

    Reply this comment
  2. Kenny
    #2 Kenny 2 August, 2021, 10:57

    ZZ Top has always been a great band they don’t have a bad song they blow opening bands off the stage. rip dusty prayers to his family and zz top.

    Reply this comment
  3. StevenX
    #3 StevenX 3 August, 2021, 12:22

    Unbelievable. Everything Billy says leads me to believe that Dusty was urging the band to go on WHILE HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. Surely he didn’t think he’d die from a broken hip. Looks like they just couldn’t afford to lose the money cancelling an entire tour would entail, but tell the truth at least. And put a hat on, new dude, your hair looks like you just woke up from a heroin binge.

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