Review by David Jackson – sbj.rocks
Zac Brown put his “Toes in the water” in Sydney on Wednesday night at the Hordern Pavilion Sydney April 1st 2015.
Wednesday night, April fool’s day for some, serious business for others. Sydney was longing to be reacquainted with Zac Brown and his band. Touring Australia for the second time in two years, how the fan base has grown from 2013 when he was last here. With a swag of awards, music sales exceeding 7 million and a “greatest hits” album under their belt, the Hordern was about to have its roof raised off.
Brown himself is a masterful musician; trading a traditional bennie for a more up market bowler hat he took the stage around 8.40pm with his band of men. This band consists of Coy Bowles, Clay Cook, Daniel de los Reyes, Matt Mangano, Jimmy De Martini, Chris Fryar, John Driskell Hopkins and Brown himself. Opening the set with “Uncaged “ from the bands third same titled studio album. The song provided the perfect segway into covers “Kashmir” and “The devil went down to Georgia” highlighting the talent of Jimmy De Martini on fiddle. A song from the yet to be released album Jekyll + Hyde titled “Homegrown” was well received as were the others on the night. From that moment on, the focus turned to the back catalogue of greatest hits. With a near 5000 strong backing audience, “Sweet Annie”, “As she’s walking away”, “Keep me in mind” and “Knee deep “put the audience into a singing frenzy. To even entertain a Queen cover is a gutsy move by any band, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the death chime for most. In all honesty Brown did it justice and each member played their part via voice or instrument in the Queen classic.
There is no doubt Brown loves Australia, having toured and travelled here a number of times. “Free” was written near Byron Bay and giving the audience the added bonus of the Van Morrison penned “Into the mystic” was a real treat. The synergy between band members was truly remarkable. There was true respect and love on the stage. Brown himself is the master of charisma with his million dollar smile. I heard the odd rumbling from the audience about too many covers but for me that is rubbish as each one had its place and with the amount of hits on offer, no one went home hungry.
As the band left the stage the audience dispersed back to their ordinary lives. For two hours tonight we were all transformed onto a tropical oasis, the only thing missing was palm trees and a cocktail or should I say a “PBR” which was on its way.
Uncaged , Kashmir , The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Homegrown, Sweet Annie, Castaway ,As She’s Walking Away , Keep Me in Mind, Knee Deep, Bohemian Rhapsody, Goodbye in Her Eyes, Whiskey’s Gone, Who Knows, Free / Into the Mystic ,Toes, Day for the Dead ,Colder Weather, Heavy Is the Head ,Chicken Fried.
Encore: Enter Sandman
Artist: Zac Brown Band – https://www.facebook.com/zacbrownband
Venue: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – Australia
Date: April 1, 2015