Thursday, October 22, 2009

Concert: ZZTop Rocks in Sofia

We didn't know when we bought the tickets two months in advance that the concert of ZZTop, the legendary rock group from Texas, would take place outdoors at Sofia's Akademik Stadium on a freezing October night. But, at least it wasn't raining.

We met Jodie's co-worker Dennis and his family and went through the frisking of security guards at the stadium entrance, only to somehow lose Dennis's wife and son for quite some time. Inside the stadium we took our seats and covered our ears at the loud noise from the warm-up band on the stage.

The crowd was a mix of older Bulgarians and younger ones, but hardly any teenagers. It wasn't clear if the thousands who had braved the 5 Degrees Celsius were true ZZTop fans, or just people who wanted an excuse to hear American rock music.

We wondered how Bulgarians could drink so much cold beer on such a cold night. Jodie borrowed my gloves, but what disturbed her more than the weather was the smoking. Even though we were outdoors, the smoking was horrendous and Jodie's throat became dry. And someone nearby was smoking a cigar.

And then, ZZTop came onstage. The band was formed in 1969 and is still actively touring together with the same three guys. The drummer's last name is Beard, but he is the only one of the trio that doesn's sport a beard. The guitarists' beards, black clothing, hats and sunglasses are their trademark.

As for their music? It was loud. We didn't recognize much of what we heard, including songs like "Cheap Sunglasses" and "Going Down to Mexico". But when they finally went into a medley of what we knew, from "Gimme All Your Lovin" to "Legs", I was standing and rocking like the most diehard Bulgarian fans, although it wasn't clear if this was because of the music or because I was fighting off frostbite.

The concert lasted about 90 minutes and we prided ourselves on our ability to find a taxi home very quickly. It was quite an experience. (The picture below was not taken by me).

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