Friday night marked the first of two headlining shows of Zac Brown Band’s “Jekyll & Hyde Tour” at the Hollywood Bowl this past weekend. Being my first time at the Bowl and seeing Zac Brown live, it could not have been a more perfect venue for the band. I had no idea the evening I was in for…
On a two story stage, which was made of LED screens, Brown and his seven bandmates (including a five-person backing choir, depending on the song) gave the audience an evening full of everything from their traditional country hits, starting off the night with a cover of the Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and plenty of banjo-picking notes during “Beautiful Drug.”
Brown can push the limits of what traditional country could be, proving he has something to offer for everyone. From adding some Van Morrison to his own hit “Free”, adding a verse and chorus of “Into The Mystic” right in the middle of the song. Later on in the concert he covered Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” mixed with some of John Mayer’s “Neon” adding their own take on the jams…the nearly 10 minute stretch of the track nearly flew by you were so engaged in the music.
There were a slew of other notable covers, from their take on the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ alternative rock classic “Under the Bridge” (who would think it could become a country tune) to their rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” mixed in with some of their staple hits.
Before playing the video commercial for his sponsored camp during “the most important song” he’s ever written, “Remedy,” he told the crowd that $1 for every ticket purchased that evening went to help build camp southern ground.
Brown told the crowd he had two favorite songs on the new album, one being ‘I’ll Be Your Man,” a song for a daughter. I’m pretty sure all the fathers in the house had tears in their eyes by the time the song was over… following up with “Tomorrow Never Comes.”
After a brief intermission mid-set, images of singing skeletons and a full-choreographed band encompassed a funky rendition of “Day For The Dead.” Mariachi lead into “Toes” kind of making me want to be on a beach somewhere in Mexico with my ass in the sand and an ice cold beer in my hand.
The evening was full of tributes to the armed forces and our veterans. It is very touching to see how appreciative Brown is of the armed forces and how heartfelt his tribute was with the song “Dress Blues,” written by Jason Isbell (which ZBB recorded for Jekyll + Hyde).
Coming to a close after an encore with “Heavy Is The Head,” and naturally, the band killed it when cleverly delivering the inevitable crowd-pleaser “Chicken Fried.”
Throughout the evening, the band never lost the beer drinking, Friday-night crowd. I can’t think of a better way to end the week and start off the weekend unwinding with a cold drink in my hand, the fall air outside at the Hollywood Bowl and the music of the Zac Brown Band. This may be Brown and Co.’s biggest tour to date, but they are by no means strangers to knowing how to give their fans what they want.
Complete Zac Brown Set Listing:
- Knee Deep
- The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover)
- One Day
- Free / Into the Mystic
- Whiskey’s Gone
- Neon / Isn’t She Lovely
- Goodbye in Her Eyes
- Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Pepperscover)
- I’ll Be Your Man (Song For A Daughter)
- Tomorrow Never Comes
- Day for the Dead
- As She’s Walking Away
- Dress Blues (Jason Isbellcover)
- Loving You Easy
- Broken Arrows (Aviciicover)
- Colder Weather
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Queencover)
- Beautiful Drug
- Chicken Fried
The ZBB returned to the Hollywood Bowl for the second night in their stand Saturday nigh where John Mayor surprised concert goers coming out on stage to perform Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” with the ZBB.