Review by: Mac M. // Photos by: Sarah Sellers
St. Paddy's Day weekend in Dallas started out as a wet cold mess. Lower Greenville had plenty of cancelations despite the St. Patrick's Day Parade being a success. Major win for Dallas with the procession wrapping up before any major rain fall.
A few hours later and not that far south I found myself in Deep Ellum at a much earlier time than normal. It takes a really good reason to drive down war torn Elm St. (due to some extremely long de-construction project) in the pouring rain to look for parking. Sarah Sellers and I had that exact good reason!
ZZ Ward was in town to play Trees that night and had once again agreed to chat with us about her tour and music. So yeah, we were a little stoked and soaked! Absolutely worth it as you'll soon read!
Soundcheck was wrapping up once we arrived at Trees as the rain was picking up outside.
Luckily it seemed like all the bands had been able to load/in prior to the mini monsoon to keep from screwing up their gear.
To our surprise ZZ and her tour manager Keith thought it would be best to do the interview on her tour bus considering the other two supporting bands would be doing soundcheck over the next couple of hours. The interview went great, ZZ talked with us about her current tour, upcoming Coachella dates, opening for Eric Clapton this Spring, her adorable little puppy dog Muddy Waters plus a lot more! Read the full interview in a very special feature post coming up the first week of April!
Speaking of Miss Muddy Waters, she was not only the coolest little pup to have sniffing and licking my hand mid-interview but she also didn't mind posing for an after interview candid shot with ZZ and Sarah for our instagram feed. We consulted Muddy's publicist so everything was legit!
Back inside for showtime we caught opening act The Oh My's killing a cover version of the Ray Charles classic "I Put A Spell On You" and caught up with the guys right after the show for a quick pic.
Linus Young brought both soul and slight confusion to the stage next. The soulful harmonies are easy to understand and dig but the confusion came from the minute Iris Belson walked out on stage and at least half the crowd thought she was ZZ Ward. Obviously that's not a bad person to be confused with especially considering you had a lot of ZZ fans in the building.
Just to claify Iris and ZZ don't actually look alike that much in my opinion. Both are very beautiful women that happen to wear similar hats with long hair and roughly the same height. Add a little alcohol to a room full of music lovers and you get certain people in the crowd spiting positive they both saw and talked to ZZ Ward even though they were talking to Iris Belson. It's all good and fun, moving on...
ZZ hit the stage with the kinda swagger and cuteness only this 27 year old can pull off in a Fedora.
My first time seeing her live set as the headliner I was extremely locked on every bass drop and groove by the band as Miss Ward laid down her smooth vocals. Sarah Sellers gave it a two thumbs up "best live performance" from ZZ she has seen to date. That's saying something considering this was her third time seeing ZZ live.
I managed to briefly talk with two of ZZ's biggest Dallas fans on the front row. Not only did they give me the full run down on why they are such huge fans but they also gave me a full dissertation on how ZZ's music has shaped their lives and friendship without taking a breath. Only the kind of raw talent possessed by two 17 year old female music lovers!
Easily this was one of my favorite interivews and live shows so far this year! Big thanks again to ZZ, her managers and band for inviting us into their "road home" and putting up with us for the sake of the interview!
Check out this quick bonus clip of "Cinnamon Stix" we caught live this past Saturday.