– Zac Brown Band’s concert at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center was an energetic and diverse mix of country, rock, roots, and blues, leaving the audience captivated and dancing.
– The band showcased their immense talent by collaborating with opening act King Calaway and paying tribute to The Band, while also surprising the crowd with covers of Beck and U2 songs.
The Zac Brown Band, led by the eponymous Zac Brown, graced the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center on a cool midsummer evening, turning the venue into a lively music nirvana. The night was an extravagant confluence of country, rock, roots, and blues tunes that had the audience swaying and dancing like they were auditioning for “Footloose.”
First up was King Calaway, a Nashville-based band, who warmed up the crowd with their tight rock ‘n’ roll sound and their emotional anthem “Tennessee’s Waiting.” The band, known for their wholesome looks and undeniable talent, are on a trajectory to become the next big thing in the music industry. They’ve opened for country music legends like Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks. Their appeal is as much in their clean-cut appearance as in their music.
Next on stage was the renowned Marcus King, who, with his boyish looks and bluesy vocals, produced a wall of sound that enveloped the open spaces of the performing arts center. King is undoubtedly a true cracker and an artist capable of performing on any stage. His raw and powerful blues held the audience captive, and his emotional rendition of the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman” left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance.
Then there was the man of the hour, Zac Brown. He took the stage alone, playing the opening verse of “Make This Day” before the curtain was drawn, revealing the entire band. The energy of the audience reached a crescendo as Brown and his band began their mesmerizing performance, which he had humbly termed as “the best in the industry.”
Throughout the night, Brown didn’t hesitate to play the audience’s favorite numbers, including “Knee Deep,” “Keep Me In Mind,” and “Same Boat.” But he also showcased King Calaway by performing a song with them, highlighting the similarities and differences in their sounds. The contrast between Calaway’s polished vocals and the Zac Brown Band’s twang was a delicious auditory treat.
The band also paid a beautiful tribute to the late Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist of The Band, by performing a cover of “The Weight.” Their ability to pay homage to the roots of their music while effortlessly shifting between genres is a testament to their immense talent.
After a brief intermission, the band returned with a full set of originals and covers, featuring a guest appearance from Marcus King on Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” The crowd cheered and sang along as the Zac Brown Band performed popular hits, and in a surprising turn of events, covered Beck’s “Creep” and U2’s “With or Without You.”
The delight of the evening was a mash-up of country songs during the encore, concluding with a rousing performance of “Chicken Fried.” The Zac Brown Band’s annual visit to Saratoga Springs is more than just a concert – it’s a celebration of music. The band’s mastery of coordinating up to 12 musicians on stage, coupled with Zac Brown’s commitment to promoting young talent, makes them truly a force to reckon with. So, if you write them off as just another country band, you’re really missing out on a lot.