No, ZZ Top aren’t a metal band. But their brand of ferocious, blues-based hard rock triggers the same response from the human limbic system (that’s the really old, monkey part of your brain) that AC/DC does – it’s an almost involuntary response. If ZZ Top doesn’t do it for you, particularly their 1970s catalog, there’s something wrong with you. And like its title implies, this DVD offers a double dose of the Top, cranked up and ready to roll.

The first disc (and, to me anyway, the absolutely essential disc) contains a German concert from 1980, filmed hot on the heels of my second-favorite of their albums, Deg�ello (my favorite, and it should be yours too, is 1973’s Tres Hombres). The band is in scorching form from the first note, running through a 22-song set that includes eight of the nine songs from Deg�ello and 14 more of their classic early hits – “La Grange,” “Tube Snake Boogie,” “Just Got Paid,” “Waitin’ for the Bus” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago,” and many more.

The second disc features 11 songs and performances recorded on the band’s 2008 tour, nine of which also appeared on last year’s Live From Texas CD and DVD (the exceptions are “I Need You Tonight” and a version of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Hey Joe”). The difference is that while Live From Texas documented a single performance (and had 17 songs), the Double Down performances were recorded at a variety of shows and edited together. And frankly, even nonessential live ZZ Top is still kind of essential, because they’re just that badass and ferocious onstage. This is one of those DVDs that will have you testing the capabilities of your home entertainment system’s speakers.

ZZ TOP – Double Down Live 1980 & 2008 2DVD (EV302869/801213028696/FD24) Available Now!

MSN Music
October 29th, 2009

DVD Review: ZZ Top – Double Down



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