Review by Bill Whiting
Photos by Scott Preston
Zac Brown Band’s appearance at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 22 drew a sold out crowd that was ready to party. Touring behind their latest release, Jekyll and Hyde, the ZBB opened the evening with a taste of the new recording in the form of the steady grooving gem, “Homegrown.” With Coy Bowles and Clay Cook on guitar, the ZBB launched into a series of rip roaring covers including, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” and Jason Isbell’s ” Dress Blues.” Brown and company returned to Jekyll and Hyde for the most poignant song of the night, the soulful charmer, “Remedy.” Then it was back to covering The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” and a near half hour jam rocked Riverbend’s lawn with each member of the Zac Brown Band taking center stage. The ZBB is known for it’s dabbling in tropical themed compositions, and their versions of “Castaway,” “Knee Deep,” and “Mango Tree” did not disappoint. Improvisational chops from Bowles, Brown and Cook ruled on the fiery and instrumentally cooking takes on “Chicken Fried” and “Day for the Dead.” As the chart topping selection “Free” led into Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” the Zac Brown Band won over the massive throng at Riverbend with a mixture of carefully selected popular standards and exquisite concert pacing. It was a Memorial weekend show for the ages.
setlist: Homegrown, Toes, Uncaged, Kashmir, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, Dress Blues, Keep Me in Mind, Remedy, Can’t You See, Goodbye in Her Eyes, Castaway, Loving You Easy, Colder Weather, Beautiful Drug, Bittersweet, Chicken Fried, One Day, Day for the Dead, Free/ Into the Mystic, Mango Tree, Knee Deep, Tomorrow Never Comes
encore: Bohemian Rhapsody, Junkyard