Concert review: Grubby but gifted Zac Brown Band leaves fans feeling good in Oklahoma City Thursday night

The Zac Brown Band put on a stellar two-hour-plus performance for the audience that packed Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday night.

By Tricia Pemberton For The Oklahoman Modified: April 27, 2012 at 6:41 am •  Published: April 27, 2012
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A sweet violin introduced “Free/Into the Mystic,” while pictures of battleships and soldiers raising the American flag flashed on video screens, drawing the crowd in to sing along.

Brown introduced another new song, “The Wind” characterizing it as “a fast one.”

The band took a short break, entertaining the audience with amusing backstage videos, before surprising everyone by being lowered back onto stage from the rafters via wires and harnesses. As they sang “Who knows,” Cook swung suspended above the crowd giving a very rock-god-like performance.

Brown asked everyone to sing along to the band’s hit “Toes” and then followed with a favorite, “Sick ‘Em On a Chicken.” Brown kept the crowd singing by teaching them the chorus to a new song, “Jump Right In.”

“That’s a choir right there, Oklahoma,” he shouted at the end of the song.

The Zac Brown Band’s rendition of the Charlie Daniels Band classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” rivals the original, with the violinist doing yet another amazing job and Brown himself picking at lightning speed as the stage lights kept time with the energy of the song.

The band left the stage briefly before coming back for a lengthy encore starting with The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” another great rendition sung by Cook with a sweet electric guitar solo by Coy Bowles.

Cook asked the crowd if they needed to get home, which drew a resounding “no.”

“How many of ya’ll got a babysitter?” he asked. When hands went up and shouts rang out, he said, “Well you’re gonna have to pay them an extra $10. I want to hear Zac Brown play guitar.”

Brown brought things to a somber note by asking if everyone had heard about the late Levon Helm, the singer and drummer for The Band who died recently.

“Shall we sing him a chorus?” Brown asked. “Yes,” was the obvious reply. Brown and his band then did The Band classic “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” with Cook again giving an excellent vocal tribute to a classic American group.

The Zac Brown Band’s final three songs showed the incredible versatility of group – “Colder Weather” touching a deep, sad chord; “America the Beautiful” spurring the crowd to a rush of patriotic pride; and “Chicken Fried” leaving everyone in a festive, raucous mood.