Live Review: Zac Brown Band – Citi Field, NY

On July 29th I ventured out to Citi Field, the home of the NY Mets, to take in my first concert there. I was very excited going in because I have wanted to see Zac Brown Band for quite some time now and this venue is a great place to see a show – I had a great time (just getting that out of the way!)

OneRepublic seemed like an odd opening act for a band like ZBB, but Ryan Tedder and his band truly killed it. I’ve seem them live before and they truly are a great live band. Tedder’s vocals on all the songs you know and some you don’t truly shines. He gave us a treat by performing Beyonce’s Halo (which he wrote) in its original key and it was awesome. They also performed a great cover of Buffalo Springfield’s Stop Children What’s That Sound?. OneRepublic proved to be a great hype band for what was to come with ZBB.

First off, Zac Brown has a great voice and ZBB has great musicians – I’ll elaborate a bit later. ZBB opened with the country hit Homegrown, which got the crowd on their feet immediately. The first sign that every member in this band was going to be on their A game was the beautiful harmonies featured on Day For The Dead. I guess ZBB are known for doing some unexpected covers and they sure proved that. The first cover of the night was Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon and it rocked.

About 45 minutes into the show of all these great upbeat songs, we got our first ballad and just imagine how great Zac’s voice was in the track Highway 20 Ride. The next cover was the classic The Devil Went Down To Georgia by Charlie Daniels. This song featured Jimmy Dee Martini on fiddle and he was incredible – in fact his fiddle/violin skills were remarkable all evening. He and Zac even had a little riff-off between fiddle and guitar – I loved it.

Zac brought his opening act (who I sadly missed) Carolina Jones to join on his song that originally featured Amos Lee, called Day That I Die. Later on in the show we also got another unconventional cover in the form of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, with Zac showcasing his harmonica skills. Things slowed down again with one my favorite ZBB songs and that is Colder Weather. During this song Brown spent a lot of the track just singing to the audience and shaking hands.

ZBB closed with their first big hit, Chicken Fried. Now – I have to tell you the ZBB encore was something to experience. To introduce all of his band members they all got to do a snippet of song on their own and they were incredible. Songs ranged from Elton John’s Bennie And The Jets, to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back, to Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, with Zac himself ending with a cover of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing In The Name Of. What a creative and eclectic way to end a great night of live music!

Jake Krickhan