ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons leaves fans fuming after Newcastle and Wollongong shows

Billy Gibbons (frontman of ZZ Top). Picture: AP
Billy Gibbons (frontman of ZZ Top). Picture: AP

It seems guitar legend Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has not been giving all his loving to fans as outrage has trailled him up the NSW coast. 

After leaving hundreds of fans fuming after two “bizarre” shows at Anita’s Theatre in Thirroul, Newcastle’s show on Wednesday wasn’t much different while the fourth and final show in Brisbane has been cancelled due to “unexpected circumstances”.

Fans who made it to the Civic Theatre in Newcastle reported the Sharp Dressed Man only appeared on stage for 45 minutes and played three songs despite being told it was a two-hour show. While ticket-holders who had paid $200 to meet the star were left without what they paid for.

The crowd turned angry and restless with reports of booing and glass being thrown at the stage. A NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed officers were called to the venue just before 10pm for “unorderly behaviour”.

Peter Muir vented on promoter The Brew Brothers’ Facebook page calling the event a “disgrace” and urged them to issue refunds and cancel further shows.

“Put them on the first plane home, at least the local support acts showed what ozzies are made of but Billy and Shine should hang their heads in shame, I think I’ve have listened to my last ZZ Top song, feel free to share this post to save others from wasting their money,” Mr Muir posted.

Another fan Mark Taylor was also “feeling ripped off” after the Newcastle performance – or lack thereof.

“Feeling ripped off. A small handful of songs and a number of half answered audience questions from Billy. As my dad and I walked out, amongst bottles being thrown at the stage at the end, there was nothing but negative comments heard from ALL who viewed this short show. Love the guy and the music, but tonight was absolute shite,” Mr Taylor said.

It comes after management of Illawarra theatre Anita’s were bombarded with angry fans – many demanding refunds – after similar antics over the weekend. 

Fans branded the ’ “Up Close and Personal” tour a “Disaster”, “shamozzle”, “bizarre” and “worst show I’ve ever seen”.

Anita’s managing director Nick Josifovski said he hoped music lovers would continue to support his venue in light of what was presented on stage.

“Ultimately it’s the artist’s reputation that is on the line,” Mr Josifovski  said.

The shows were promoted as evenings of greatest hits, intimate life stories and hot rod tales with Gibbons and his entourage.

But ticket-holders were outraged at Gibbons’ lack of music and his “lack of enthusiasm”, as well as the strange antics of the compere. Questions were also raised over where thousands of dollars made from auctioned memorabilia was going.

Jimmy Shine and Billy Gibbons in Pyrmont shortly after Gibbons arrived in Australia for his 'Up Close & Personal' tour in January. Picture: Rodney Brewer

Jimmy Shine and Billy Gibbons in Pyrmont shortly after Gibbons arrived in Australia for his 'Up Close & Personal' tour in January. Picture: Rodney Brewer

Both Thirroul shows failed to sell out and only held intimates crowd of around 300 each. Outside of the support band, Gibbons’ only performed three songs on Friday and four on Saturday (though it’s reported he played La Grange twice).

The Illawarra Mercury contacted the promoter Mr Brewer on Tuesday who said he would return with a statement from Gibbons in 10 minutes but failed to respond.

Songs and stories tours by musicians are not new to the Illawarra with veteran rocker Jimmy Barnes set to bring his second tour of that style to Anita’s Theatre this year. The Angels have also had recent success with a national tour in the same vein that stopped by Wollongong.