Review by Kelly Besaw
Photos by Chris Besaw
Zac Brown Band returns to St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater on Friday August 11 on his “From The Fire” tour with special guests King Calaway and Marcus King.
King Calaway got the evening started. The band released their first EP titled Rivers in 2019 and has hit the ground running ever since. They have opened for notable county acts Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks. Their most recent release “When I Get Home” was produced and co-written by none other than Zac Brown himself. They have an extremely easy on the ears sound. I enjoyed their set. I expect that we will see a lot more of them in the future.
Up next was Marcus King. I had heard some buzz about him from members of the crowd. There seemed to be quite a bit of curiosity and anticipation around his performance. Once King took the stage and started singing, it made sense. He may look young and has that boyish face, but he can sing and obviously knows his way around the guitar. King worked his way through a twelve-song set that included some originals, “It’s Too Late,” “Pain” and “Wildflowers and Wine” as well as “Joy of My Life” (John Fogerty cover) where King was joined by his wife Briley Hussey, “Comin’ Home” (Delaney & Bonnie cover) and my personal favorite, “When a Man Loves a Woman” (Percy Sledge cover). King belted out the lyrics with such passion that the audience was captivated. I certainly could have listened to King for longer and I expect that he will be headlining shows soon enough!
The main act started with Zac Brown sitting alone in front of a giant curtain that draped the rest of the stage singing “Make This Day” as the chorus started, the curtain fell revealing the rest of the band and the fans were mesmerized from beginning to end. Zac Brown knows how to engage his fans with the perfect mix of upbeat hits with some slower songs mixed in and a few well-known covers, their twenty-four-song set had something for everyone. The first set included “Knee Deep,” “Loving You Easy” “Same Boat” and the fun-filled sing along “Jump Right In.” Zac Brown then told everyone, “We are going to take a little break so go ahead and grab yourself another drink, go to the bathroom because we’ve got a long night ahead of us.”
The second set ZBB performed a few songs with the openers. King Calaway joined them onstage for a cover of their own song “When I Get Home.” They also paid tribute to Robbie Robertson with a cover of “The Weight” by The Band. Marcus King joined everyone onstage for “Layla” (Derek and the Dominos cover) where he wowed the fans with his ripping guitar solos. Everyone sang along to fan-favorite “Toes.” They threw in well-known covers including Radiohead’s “Creep” and “With or Without You” by U2. They ended their second set with “Homegrown” took a short break and returned to the stage for their encore. The encore included an epic medley of country songs including snippets from “Mountain Music,” “All My Ex’s Live In Texas,” “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and “Friends in Low Places” and more. And of course, the final song of the evening was the more than fitting “Chicken Fried.” The perfect song to end a Friday night show with!
Make This Day
Keep Me in Mind
Loving You Easy
Where the Boat Leaves From (with “One Love/People Get Ready” interlude)
Tomorrow Never Comes
As She’s Walking Away
Day That I Die
Jump Right In
When I Get Home (King Calaway cover) (with King Calaway)
The Weight (The Band cover)
Layla (Derek and the Dominos cover) (with Marcus King)
Colder Weather/Wish You Were Here
Creep (Radiohead cover)
With or Without You (U2 cover)
Mountain Music/ Chattahoochee/ All My Ex’s Live In Texas/ Fishing In The Dark/ Callin’ Baton Rouge/ Family Tradition/ Boot Scootin’ Boogie/ I will Always Love You/ Here’s a Quarter/ Friends In Low Places