Caroline Jones opened for Zac Brown Band at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas, TX on September 15. She was a very sweet new face with talent. I think she played every instrument on stage. It appears that she has great musical training. She brought out a new guitar with every song and played each one. From her million dollar smile to her Swarovski crystal shoes this girl is ready for the Nashville touring scene. Her best quality is her spirit. If she can keep that fire and light she will head right to the top.
Zac’s band members came onstage one by one showing different musical talents. They ended up all sitting loosely on the steps with a choir of musical instruments and vocals. Fiddle, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, a Dobro and scrub board made up this musical circle. It was heavenly and informal in the same moment. Zac Brown even joined them playing a morocco.
From rock to bluegrass this was the start of a musical hootenanny, a picking and grinning country hoedown. My favorite song in this part was when Zac did an amazing rendition of THE BAND’S “Up on Cripple Creek.” Lights went down and everyone turned to scattered to their onstage positions.
A Huge 30-ft Zac Brown (in Marshall Tucker album cover lettering) scrim appeared as the members moved to their places onstage. As the show began lights, camera, action, a big fandango started with two drummers going “Boom, boom, boom.” The scrim flies out that the county engine is moving down the track. It was a big production, a huge set with hundreds of moving lights and the best of the best sound. The LED screens rolled barrels of whiskey across the stage. The graphics were overwhelming covering seven huge screens. Zac came to town with a well planned out show.
We have gone big country Vegas-style and the crowd was all in by the second number. The show was one word: gorgeous. Breathtaking views of a sun setting on the screens with cool Caribbean blue stage wash.
The music reminded me of a Jimmy Buffet-style sound as Zac sang, “Do me a favor and pour me a Jager.” On the third song he told the crowd to, “Pull up to the Family table.” This song had guitar licks that reminded me of Marshal Tucker in the intro. The graphics had lots of wood grain as they layered it with real video feed.
A real highlight of the night was when the keyboard player sang the famous ALLMAN BROTHERS’ “Whipping Post”. The band played 25 songs this night. Zac Brown is here to stay and her really puts on a great show. He definitely made everyone in attendance happy.
The most astounding thing of the night was all the songs they did from other bands. The crowd loved it and it really showed off the group’s musical talent. From KINGS OF LEON to QUEEN everyone was happy with the music they were playing.
The country crowd is a cute crowd. Zac Brown wore his Amish-looking pilgrim hat, gray vest and pinstripe jeans. The most striking thing about him is his dark hair and beard, and colorful tats. I am sure this man would be recognized even in a baseball hat. Zac worked the ramp and shook hands as he sang the words “Someone like me.”
Zac jumps and pumps up the crowd during their set. He talks to the crowd saying he is visiting lot of cities on this tour but he still believe that this country is the best. This well produced show hangs like fine art on the wall. The graphics roll ink blots and music notes dance across the stage. It’s a hot and sweaty night in Texas as the band stops and sit on the steps for “Start Over,” from the new album Welcome Home.
One of the lines in this ocean feeling song was, “Smoke a J by the waves”.“Loving You Easy” had a bad ass guitar solo. Later in the night Caroline Jones joined him onstage singing “The day I die I hope you find me with a guitar in my hand.”
I expect Entertainer of the Year very soon from this music machine. Zac showed why he is a Nashville superstar. He has branding down to an art. They were even selling Zac’s own personal brand of wine for one night only (Z Anderson Brown). His fans adore him and this band is here to stay. They are Big Country from the quality of gear to the Nashville touring trucks camped out back.
Loving You Easy
Day That I Die
I Play the Road
Keep Me in Mind
Jump Right In/Castaway/ Where the Boat Leaves From
It’s a Great Day to Be Alive
All the Best
LIVE IMAGES: GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DONNA LOTHRIDGE