Words & Photos by M.J. Rawls
Zac Brown Band Brings ‘Back Out The Sun Tour’ to New Jersey
I have to admit, as I get older, I’m starting to warm up to country music. The country songs that I noticed where the ones that are deeply personal or ones where everybody is just having a good time. On May 20th at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ, Zac Brown Band’s “Black Out The Sun Tour” rolled in reportedly breaking an attendance record for the venue. That in itself is amazing considering that you have the XTU anniversary show that takes place every year. If you were looking for an unofficial kickoff to the South Jersey summer concert season – this was a pretty good start. The crowd was filled with cowboy hats, denim jeans, and families who took the day off to enjoy the hotter weather in what was a dreary late May.
The opener was “Drake White” and “The Big Fire” playing songs like “Livin The Dream” and a cover of James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” With a short 45 minute set, the band was a good warm up for fans who were settling in their seats or finding that spot on the lawn to get a good view. Zac Brown Band’s set was highlighted by a huge LCD screen set with a two story set that held all of the assemble like a huge jam. From the first song, “Castaway”, off their recently released album Jekyll + Hyde, cups of beer were raised and the crowd was singing along to every word of the chorus. Once of the things that stood out to me was during the song, “Colder Weather.” Zac Brown put down his guitar and walked around the platform and shook the hand of every fan he can get to. The subject matter of the song from the 2010 album, You Get What You Give, is about a trucker on the road who cannot get to the person they love due to the wintry weather. The backdrop of snow complemented the piano keys that ended the song very well – a testament for an artist knowing their set design and playing on the emotions of a emotional song. There were a couple of good covers within the set. “Baba O’ Riley” (The Who) and “Let’s Go Crazy” (Prince) showed the band’s versatility in covering two types of what would be considered rock songs.
My musical taste is all over the spectrum. From rock, to rap, to pop – if it’s a good song, it’s been played on any one of the streaming services that I have. The fan fare of the Zac Brown Band coupled with the sharp musicianship had their songs find their way into my playlists the days after the show.
Zac Brown Band Setlist:
S.O.B. (Nathaniel Rateliff cover)
Free / Into the Mystic (Van Morrison Cover)
Live and Let Die (Wings Cover)
Supply and Demand (Amos Lee cover)
Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen cover)
I’ll Be Your Man (Song For A Daughter)
I Play The Road
Keep Me in Mind
Loving You Easy
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)
Tomorrow Never Comes
Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover)