The XXX Tour was a concert tour by Americanrock band ZZ Top. Staged in support of their 1999 album XXX, the tour visited arenas from 1999 through 2000. With three legs and 106 shows, the tour began in Denver, Colorado on September 12, 1999 and ended on May 1, 2000 in Auckland, New Zealand. The first two legs took place in the United States, before the final leg visited Australia and New Zealand, which was branded as the "XXX World Tour". After three legs, the tour was expanded to Europe, though these shows were cancelled. Although the tour provoked a range of reactions from critics, it was generally well received.
ZZ Top's 1996 album Rhythmeen and the supporting Continental Safari Tour brought them to new audiences, particularly in South Africa. Unlike their previous tours, Continental Safari was a minimalistic, sparse production. According to a press release, guitarist and vocalist Billy Gibbons described the tour's production as a "no-frills, full-thrill presentation—streamlined and down and gritty", further acknowledging, "ZZ Top drives it home with a meaner rhythm than ever before." Although their 1997 Mean Rhythm Global Tour did not visit Europe, they performed over 170 shows in support of Rhythmeen.
The XXX Tour stage was designed by Chris Stuba, ZZ Top's lighting director To design the set, Stuba collaborated with longtime production manager Donny Stuart stage set. In place of ZZ Top's elaborate productions of the past, the XXX Tour stage was a simple setup, designed to be intimate. The set included a 48-by-30 foot (15 by 9 m) stage, and was supplemented by giant stretch fabric fixtures, known as Transformits, and were made into geometric shapes, which showed various visuals, including the "XXX" logo behind the stage; for any in-the-round venues, the Transformits were not used. Stuba faced the challenge of designing a lighting system to suit both ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the opening act for most of the tour; both bands used the same wash lights. The set used 87 automated luminaries and 180 PAR lamps, emitting lots of heat in which the band favored. Stuba explained:
Because the band has literally grown up with conventional lights, they tell me they play better when they 'feel the heat.' They like a really hot stage. The story is they had so many PARs they couldn't move the drum riser until a half hour after the show because it was so hot. They like it that way, and as more conventional lighting goes away and more automated lighting comes into play, a lot of newer bands have no idea what it's like to play under a 150-degree stage. It's an observation we've made about the whole thing, from Billy's point of view.
The way we discovered this was, I was running moving light cues and Billy was saying there was something missing and he couldn't put his finger on it. And it came to turn out that it was just the heat factor. He missed the heat. I was pretty shocked hearing that and didn't give it much thought myself until he pointed that out. Our cues now have more PARs in them just for that reason. If they're happy with the heat and they don't think about it and it's the norm, then in turn they probably do play better.