San Francisco Audience Left Smitten by ZZ Ward at the Regency Ballroom

in SF Concert Reviews by

It’s really really hard not to like ZZ Ward. Not only is she a talented singer and her feelgood music is as infectious as it is uplifting, but on top of that, the bluesy guitar slinger is just plain charming. During her show, last night at the Regency Ballroom she came out dressed in a sort of Bewitched inspired black outfit with matching pointy hat and began playing songs from a set list that consisted of a variety of songs taken from her last three albums and charmed her crowd the way only a talented frontwoman can.

Her blend of Blues and Hip Hop was perfectly complimented with a virtuoso guitar player on the right, groovy bassist on the left and gospel drummer in the back. I have to say, the drummer really stood out for me last night. He not only held a solid backbeat throughout the entire night but was consistently throwing some delicious licks at the end of each bar, which added something unique to the usual classic blues sound that we’re accustomed to hearing.

San Francisco has always had a lot of love for ZZ  and last night was no different. As expected, the biggest audience response was for her most famous hits. Songs like “Let It Burn,” “Put the Gun Down,” “Til The Casket Drops,” and “Ride” (a song that she wrote with Gary Clark Jr.), had everyone dancing the night away. And although ZZ’s voice seemed to be strained at times (possibly from the hardships of life on the road), the strength of her tunes made it so easy to overlook.

It’s always fun when ZZ comes to town and last night was no exception. Her blend of Rock Blues and Hip Hop make for an original take on a classic sound. Her songs are fun, catchy, and beautifully crafted. This little firecracker is definitely worth the price of admission. Check out some photos from the event and be sure to give her a listen as she makes her way across the land.

Do you want to learn more about ZZ Ward? Check out the interview with did with her last year HERE.


Let It Burn
Put the Gun Down
Til the Casket Drops
Hold On
Save My Life
The Storm
OVERdue / Cinnamon Stix
Last Love Song
Waiting for Charlie
(Etta James cover)
Grinnin’ in Your Face
(Son House cover)
Bag of Bones
Lil’ Darlin
Marry Well
She Ain’t Me
Blue Eyes Blind

365 Days

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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