ZZ Top returning to the War Memorial

By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent

Legendary rock band ZZ Top is coming to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Oct. 3.

“This will be the third year in a row we’ve tried to bring ZZ Top to Johnstown,” War Memorial General Manager Tom Grenell said. “The stars did not align, but the third time is a charm and we could not be happier to have them as our guests in Johnstown.”

Grenell said that ZZ Top performed at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena once before, but it was a long time ago: 1975. 

To make ZZ Top’s return to Johnstown as memorable as possible, for not only the band but also the audience, Grenell said that the stage setup will make the arena feel like a theater or large club.

“What we decided to do was almost mimic the Brit Floyd stage setup, to turn it into a very intimate night with ZZ Top,” he said. “ZZ Top is going to blow the doors off the place with that setup.”

ZZ Top formed in Texas in 1969 and released their debut album two years later. Some of ZZ Top’s hits include “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Legs” and “Tush.” The band has sold more than 50 million albums to date. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

ZZ Top features Billy Gibbons on guitar and vocals, Dusty Hill on bass and vocals, and Frank Beard on drums. Gibbons and Hill are well known not only for their musical talent, but also their lengthy trademark beards.

ZZ Top’s show in Johnstown is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Doors are to open an hour earlier. Grenell encouraged people to purchase tickets sooner rather than later.

“Tickets are going quickly,” he said. “Even though there’s not going to be a bad seat in the house, you want to have a seat in the house. I would not wait until October to buy tickets. They’re moving pretty good and that speaks to ZZ Top’s star power.

“I look for it to be a spectacular show, and this is going to be a really neat year if we get the shows that we’re aggressively going after. As long as we keep bringing different entertainment offerings that are interesting to tourists and locals, we’re doing what we’re setting out to do, which is to keep bringing people to the Johnstown area. We’re just trying to put a year together that is really diverse and laden with talent that people are going to want to see.”