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ZZ Top Opening Tom Petty's Texas Dates

Rocks Off has been sitting on this information pretty much all day, and after teasing you on Twitter all day, it feels so good to finally get it off our chests. That's it right up there in the headline, more or less - Houston's hometown boyz ZZ Top have been tapped "by special arrangement" (your guess is as good as ours what that means) to open Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' Texas shows September 21 at Dallas' Center and September 24 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

This is the sort of double bill that Rocks Off spends most of our days dreaming about, especially in light of this past weekend's Saturday Night Live, where Petty & the Heartbreakers made their umpteenth appearance on the late-night comedy show (as did host Alec Baldwin, for that matter) with a pair of scorched-earth blues numbers from new album Mojo, which hits record-store racks June 15 (thanks, Greg). Tickets are on sale now at, and can be yours without a service fee through midnight tomorrow.

Even though Petty, if not the Heartbreakers per se, has been heading in this kind of Hendrix/Zeppelin/Cream direction for a while - see "Saving Grace," from 2006's Highway Companion, and both "Cabin Down Below" and "Honeybee" from 1994's Wildflowers, Petty's nominal "solo" albums - he and the rest of the Heartbreakers are will have to really bring it to beat Billy Gibbons' boogie chillun, especially in the Top's own backyard. Rocks Off can't wait to find out.

In other Live Nation/Woodlands news, tickets for Christina Aguilera's August 16 show in the pines go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday, also at Once she's done with the robo-Madonna phase of latest album Bionic and current single "Not Myself Tonight," Rocks Off would kind of like to see what she could do with "Honeybee" and "Tush." Just a thought...

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray