Group Uncages Two-Hour Set of Originals & Surprising Covers at Sold-Out NYC Show
"It's a big night for us. Playing Madison Square Garden has definitely been on our list of things to do," Zac Brown said during the band's Eat & Greet Saturday night in New York.
Before Zac Brown Band  took the stage for their sold-out concert they served food and mingled with 150 fans. A testament to their growing success, the band continuously thanked everyone for their support.
"Jump Right In"
The Eat & Greet was just one way to show their gratitude last night. The other was a commanding two-hour set that spanned their catalog of hits and jaw-dropping covers from Nirvana, Aerosmith, Metallica, Van Morrison, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band. Whether it was cover songs or their original music, Zac Brown Band showcased their signature sound and standout musicianship with minute long instrumental features and unyielding energy.
"When I think about all of the amazing things that happen under this roof, it's a really humbling experience," Brown told the crowd. "Being here tonight means an incredible amount to all of us in the band and all the people who've helped us get to where we are. Thanks to each and every one of you out there who contributed to being here tonight, means the world to us."
The band kicked off the night with the electric "Keep Me In Mind" and moving "As She's Walking Away." While their upbeat songs like the foot-stomping "Whiskey's Gone" and sing along anthems "Toes," "Knee Deep" and "Chicken Fried" demonstrated their arena power it was the stripped down and poignant numbers that transformed the Garden into a living room jam session. Here, Zac Brown Band put their own spin on some rock classics.
After bringing out opener Levi Lowrey, an artist Brown called "one of my favorite songwriters," for a performance of "The Problem With Freedom," the band played a slew of covers. From whispered vocals on Nirvana's "All Apologies" to Aerosmith's classic "Sweet Emotion," Zac Brown Band made each track their own. Afterward, they played a new song they hope to release on their next record. Titled "One Day," with impressive fiddle features it was the perfect transition.
While the poignant "Free" struck a chord, the band's rendition flowed seamlessly into a standout performance of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic." Meanwhile, the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See" and Metallica's "Enter Sandman" continued to electrify with ear-grabbing vocals from band member John Hopkins and impressive guitar riffs from Blackberry Smoke's Charlie Starr. The Charlie Daniels Band staple "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" further exhilarated the crowd.
Zac Brown Band proved their songs are just as powerful. After playing the emotional "Highway 20 Ride," a song Brown said is "a father's song to his son," his own father walked out on stage. Meanwhile, the poignant "Colder Weather" showcased Brown alone on vocals towards the song's end as the Garden fell silent and hung onto every word.
Dedicating "America the Beautiful" to Hurricane Sandy victims, a phone number for the Red Cross was displayed as Brown urged fans to donate to those in need. "Every good thing goes back to you," he said.
Closing their set with crowd favorite and Zac Brown Band staple "Chicken Fried," the band ended a show they'll likely never forget.
"We have to make a new bucket list after tonight," Brown said.
- Country