Zac Brown Band’s “Out in the Middle” tour is full of surprises! Regardless of how many times you’ve seen this band perform live, they always bring a unique setlist with deep cuts off the studio albums, special guests, and cover songs with their own ZBB spin. The formula works as evidenced by the show being completely sold out to throngs of fans nicknamed the “Zamily”. The tour stopped in Tampa, FL on October 8th at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater with special guests the Robert Randolph Band.
It was quickly revealed this would be another night to remember with the setlist being broken into essentially three different sections. The crowd roared when frontman Zac Brown walked on stage sans the rest of his band and equipped with just his trusty acoustic guitar. He spoke about the shows format and the bands humble beginnings getting their start playing at small local dive bars in Georgia. Then the familiar opening chord of “Toes” began with the crowd singing every lyric. Eventually, all band members were brought on stage and introduced during the first portion of the show.
After a short intermission, the lights dimmed once again and the band hit the stage with even more additions with backup singers and a horn section. The band are consummate professionals and incredibly tight while performing fan favorites like “Knee Deep”, “Keep Me in Mind”, and “The Comeback”. Zac’s lyrics are carefully crafted to keep fans on their feet, singing, dancing, and having the time of their lives on an Autumn evening. In addition to the fun party atomposhere, Zac Bown shouted out Camp Southern Ground which is their foundation based in Georgia, dedicated to at-risk youth and veterans. “If you want to help, send an email and someone will respond,” Brown spoke to the crowd of supporters. The band closed out the second act with a cover of Charlie Daniels 1979 Grammy-Award winning hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” This song could have easily been the closer with the band’s energy and soloing from fidder Jimmy De Martini. But the crowd was in for one last portion of the ZBB “Out in the Middle” tour.
What do Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, and Rick Astley have in common? Their hit songs from the past made an appearance in the final act of the evening with not only the Zac Brown Band, but the entire crew from the Robert Randolph Band as well! The variety of songs gave each band member a chance to sing an individual song, proving that they could sing in additional to playing their instruments. The stage was full of top notch musicians enjoying each others performances as much as the crowd was. The Zac Brown Band is and will remain the ‘kings’ of country music for a very long time to come. Zac Brown and all other members are musicians, not simply artists. They have stayed true to their roots by blending the genre of southern rock and country music.
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