When my girlfriend’s mom offered me ticket to see “Gang of Outlaws” Tour featuring ZZ Top and 3 Doors Down at the Hard Rock in Hollywood FL, I jumped at the chance to go. I usually do not go to shows during the week, but, I have always wanted to see both bands. After fighting my way through horrible traffic on I-95, I made it to the show with 15 minutes to spare.
3 Doors Down opened the show. I was impressed with their energy from start to finish. From the opening chords of “Time of My Life”, they seemed to be on a mission. With full capability to just go through the motions, 3 Doors Down decided against that and put on a powerful rock and roll show. “Thank You my friends” was a popular refrain from lead singer Brad Arnold. You could really feel the sincerity not just from him, but, from the rest of the band. The song I was looking forward to hearing the most was “Be Like That”. When they started playing it about halfway through their set, I felt something. Something that Rock and Roll is supposed to make you feel. Something inside of you that you can’t explain, but, you know is good and right. However, the most emotional moment of the night for me is when they introduced “When I’m Gone”. They dedicated it to the soldiers and family of soldiers serving in the United States military. My girlfriend’s sister, who was at the show, has a husband who just went back to Afghanistan. The song meant the world to me as I am sure that it meant something to her.
After a surprisingly short intermission, that “little band from Texas” came on stage. The videos that played over the screens had “grind house” feel to them, reminiscent of “House of 1000 Corpses” or “Devil’s Rejects”. One of the best visual shows I have been to in a long time. I always knew the hits, but, I did not realize just how great their talents as musicians were. Billy Gibbons is definitely in my top 5 favorite guitar players of all time. He shredded with the best of them. He would go on a wild solo and bring it back in check as not to sound sloppy. His amazing work was highlighted on “Vincent Price Blues, La Grange and Gimme All Your Lovin”. And let us not forget about the rhythm section of Frank Beard and Dusty Hill. They complemented Billy Gibbon’s great guitar work with a dirty, swampy beat that put you in a west Texas roadhouse bar. After playing a raucous show closing “La Grange”, ZZ Top Just walked off stage into a muggy south Florida night.