Zac Brown Band at ACL Live Taping Review

by Michael Mullenix
On August 3rd, the Austin City Limits Moody Theater welcomed the Zac Brown band-one of music’s biggest live bands- to celebrate their latest record Welcome Home with a live taping of the PBS Tv show (the longest running music show). This was the band’s ACL TV debut and they came to enchant the crowd with hit country ballads (and some rock n’ roll). Grammy-award winning, multi-platinum Zac Brown Band has been a huge force since the 2008’s album, The Foundation.  The front row fans were treated to a huge show that we can’t wait to see air next season on PBS in the fall.


Photo by Scott Newton

From the beginning of the show, the mood was set when the band
opened up on Homegrown, invoking the spirit of the American southland. The show then shifted over to the new single Family Table the new album.

Zac Brown continues to separates himself from the majority of his current country music contemporaries. He’s able to craft pop anthems from more folk-ish influences reminiscent of artists like The Allman Brothers and Neil Young.

The band performed Free that transitioned into Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” which seemed to be a great tie-in to Brown’s music. He poured through incredible gems of his
short career such as Quiet Your Mind, Sweet Annie, and Roots. If there is any downside in his set list, it’s the way his momentum is somewhat unable to
bounce back from his slower more emotional songs. After more tearful entries like
My Old Man, Goodbye In Her Eyes, and Colder Weather, the set list is unable to really
regain an upwards direction and recover in renditions of Roots and even 2 Places At
1 Time. All in all though, it seems like a petty complaint that his songs “have too
much heart behind them.”

Zac Brown closed out the encore on his definitive hit Chicken Fried, and
strangely a cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman. The cover reflected the more
metallic version, and though fun, definitely seemed like the odd send-off to a truly
heart-felt country evening. Probably due to the televised nature of a live tv-show
taping, that certain hits were omitted such as Loving You Easy and Toes.
The entire set went on for an hour and a half it was an incredible collection
of his career and only speaks to the depth of talent that such omissions are still even plausible.

The fact that he honored our American veterans by bringing one vet on stage to honor them, is a testament to Brown’s heart, passion, and patriotism. It makes us love him even more. Stay tuned for our coverage of the upcoming concert at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin in September.

Read the full show recap at acltv.