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ZZ Top to rock Keystone Centre

Dusty Hill, left, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top on stage during their summer tour. The band will perform in Westman Place at the Keystone Centre on March 12.

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Dusty Hill, left, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top on stage during their summer tour. The band will perform in Westman Place at the Keystone Centre on March 12.

Christmas came early for ZZ Top fans in Westman as the legendary rock band announced a Brandon date via its website yesterday.

On March 12, 2014, the beards — Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, who ironically is the only member of the band without a gnarly crumb collector — will crash the Keystone Centre on their first stop of a seven-city tour through Western Canada.

"We’re very excited about it," Keystone Centre general manager Neil Thomson said. "The classic rock environment is very popular and I think ZZ Top is another one of those top acts. We’re happy to have them come to facility and I think people will enjoy it because they still put on a great show."

The band is best known for tracks from the 1970s and ’80s, including "La Grange," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Legs."

While many of their hits are from those early days, last year the American band released their 15th studio album titled "La Futura" to strong reviews.

Tickets to see the trio will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., ranging from $55 to $65.

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased off the band’s website — zztop.com —starting today.

Building off successful shows with classic rock bands such as Mötley Crüe, KISS and Heart, Thomson said ZZ Top appeals to a wide variety of music listeners.

"We believe there is a market for it and the reaction has been very positive."

Last year, the Keystone Centre jumped back into the music industry as the box office generated $1.54 million in revenue and turned a profit of approximately $275,000.

Along with the big-name acts, the Keystone also played host to acts such as Great Big Sea, Clint Black and The Tragically Hip.

While the shows were successful, Thomson admits Brandon fans are at the mercy of the concert industry when it comes to show selection.

"We are usually subject to what is out on the road at the time," Thomson said. "Part of the concert business is trying to get tagged on with any tours that are happening."

Most major acts appearing in Brandon manage to slide the Keystone in, based on where they are geographically on tour at the time.

ZZ Top is no different, as the band will play Denver, Colo., four days before heading north to Brandon and will play the MTS Centre in Winnipeg the following night before heading west for the remainder of the tour, which wraps up in Vancouver.

Winnipeg tends to be the best barometer for bands that could potentially hit the Wheat City. Of the six major acts to grace the stage at the Keystone Centre this year, five played Winnipeg within the week prior to or after their stop here.

The only act that didn’t was Clint Black, who was brought in to add to the Wheat City Stampede entertainment package.

Moving forward, Thomson hopes to attract more country artists, believing there is a strong market for the genre in Westman.

He also hinted that he’s already in talks with another group/artist about potentially coming to Brandon, but wouldn’t give any details away about who that might be.

"We’re definitely interested in doing more country shows," Thomson said. "We think there is an interest in country, so I would like to have more of those types of acts and we’re always looking."

» ctweed@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 3, 2013

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Christmas came early for ZZ Top fans in Westman as the legendary rock band announced a Brandon date via its website yesterday.

On March 12, 2014, the beards — Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, who ironically is the only member of the band without a gnarly crumb collector — will crash the Keystone Centre on their first stop of a seven-city tour through Western Canada.

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Christmas came early for ZZ Top fans in Westman as the legendary rock band announced a Brandon date via its website yesterday.

On March 12, 2014, the beards — Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, who ironically is the only member of the band without a gnarly crumb collector — will crash the Keystone Centre on their first stop of a seven-city tour through Western Canada.

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