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Boogie-rocking band ZZ Top to play headline show at Musikfest

ZZ Top.jpg
Courtesy of Musikfest
ZZ Top will return to Musikfest

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Boogie-rocking band ZZ Top will return to Bethlehem’s Musikfest, it was just announced Monday.

The group will headline the main Steel Stage at 7 p.m. Aug. 11. Tickets, at $30 to $89, go on sale at 10 a.m. today, Feb. 26, to ArtsQuest members and at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1, to the public at www.musikfest.org and 610-332-3378.

The group last played Musikfest in 2015 after canceling the previous year when bassist Dusty Hill had to undergo surgery. Hill died in 2021 and was replaced by Billy Ethridge.

ZZ Top had the hits “Tush” in the 1970s and “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man” in the 1980s.
Music chart history

=ZZ Top had the hits “Tush” in the 1970s and “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man” in the 1980s.

The trio, known as the Little Ol’ Band from Texas, has sold 30 million copies of its 24 studio, live and compilation albums in its career, which has stretched more than 50 years.

Its breakthrough album was 1973’s “Tres Hombres,” which went gold and broke the Top 10. “Fandango!” in 1975 gave the band its first Top 20 hit, “Tush.”

But by far its most popular disc was 1983’s “Eliminator,” which sold more than 10 million copies, with hits such as the No. 2 “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”

The follow-up disc, “Afterburner,” sold more than 5 million copies and was the band’s highest-charting album, hitting Top 5. A 1992 greatest hits album sold 3 million copies. A dozen of its discs have gone gold or platinum.

The band’s most recent studio disc, “La Futura” in 2012, went to No. 6. It more recently released a compilation album, “The Complete Studio Albums, 1970-1990.”

Earlier shows in the area

In all, the band has had 25 Top 20 songs on various charts, with its last, “What’s Up With That,” hitting No. 5 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1996.

ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Before its last Musikfest show, ZZ Top last played the area in a co-headlining show with Brooks & Dunn, drawing about 5,500 people to Allentown Fair in 2008.

The group also headlined the fair solo in 2004, drawing about the same size crowd, and drew a near-capacity crowd to the fair in 1997.

ZZ Top's first show in the Lehigh Valley area was for a crowd of 10,000 for a non-fair show at Allentown Fairgrounds in 1980
Lehigh Valley concert histories

The group’s first show in the area was for a crowd of 10,000 for a non-fair show at Allentown Fairgrounds in 1980, then played a similar show in 1983.

The announcement is the seventh of what Musikfest has said will be 11 headline performers for its 41st year this year. Musikfest is scheduled to run Aug. 2-11, with an Aug. 1 preview night.

Musikfest previously announced six headliners. Hard rock band Shinedown will perform on Aug. 3, Reggaeton act Jowell & Randy on Aug. 4, country music group Old Dominion on Aug. 6 and Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd on Aug. 7.

Reunited 2000s boy band Big Time Rush will perform on Aug. 9 and rapper Ludacris will play Saturday, Aug. 10.

Tickets for all those shows remain on sale.