As the sun dipped below the horizon on a warm Tampa evening, the stage was set for one of the most highly anticipated live performances of the year: the Zac Brown Band ending their tour at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre on November 3rd. It was a night filled with raw talent, incredible musicianship, and a crowd that radiated energy like no other. The Grammy-winning Zac Brown Band delivered a stellar performance along with the opening act King Calaway. But just because the tour ended in Tampa, doesn’t mean you won’t see ZBB on the road again soon! Just days after the Tampa shows, they announced a massive stadium tour with the one and only, Kenny Chesney! The tour kicks off in Tampa on April 20th – view all of the tour dates here.
Now on to the music with King Calaway taking the stage! There’s a reason why they’ve risen quickly in the country music scene and performed with the likes of Garth Brooks and Rascal Flatts. Hailing straight out of Nashville, the band released the EP “Midnight” in 2021 and opened their set with “Good Time to Me.” The anthemic song features Lainey Wilson and had the crowd engaged, and ready to have a good time! King Calaway featured songs from the recently released first full-length album “Tennessee’s Waiting” back in August with Zac Brown producing. With all of the members contributing as songwriters, the band’s sound has a diverse range of traditional country, modern pop, and southern rock vibes. And like the Zac Brown Band, they surprised the crowd with several unique cover songs. Who would’ve expected to hear Post Malone’s “Circles” or the Steve Miller Band’s “I’m Feelin’ Good” on the setlist? King Calaway’s melodic harmonies and upbeat stage presence are exactly why you get to the venue early to see any band that Zac Brown gives the stamp of approval for. This is certainly a band you will be hearing more from in the future! Click here to visit the official King Calaway website.
From the very first note of their set, it was evident that Zac Brown Band came to Tampa with a mission: to bring the Zamily a party and they certainly delivered. Over the past two decades, Zac has assembled an all-star band with the likes of Coy Bowles, Clay Cook, Jimmy De Martini, and the newest full-time member of ZBB, Caroline Jones! The atmosphere was electric, with fans ranging from parents with their kids, young couples, and retired Florida folk. The opening chords of “Make This Day” resonated from the front of the pit to the back of the lawn, and the crowd’s reaction was immediate. Then following up with the hit “Toes”, fans’ arms were raised and voices joined in singing “Adios and vaya con Dios” in unison with a sea of swaying bodies throughout the amphitheater. It was a fitting start to a performance that would take us on a journey through the band’s remarkable career and showcase their unparalleled musicianship.
The Zac Brown Band’s setlist was a carefully curated selection of their biggest hits, deep cuts, fan favorites, and cover songs. “Day That I Die” was a standout moment, with its poignant lyrics and haunting melody. But it was then followed with the upbeat “Jump Right In” off of the Uncaged album, and the Zamily’s energy was back to 100%. The lyrics were particularly perfect for the crowd and atmosphere with the chorus of:
You can jump right in
Let the music pull you in
You can jump right in
Oh and lose yourself again
As the Southern wind sings again a island lullaby
Once you see the Zac Brown Band live, you’ll understand how they sold out Fenway Park a record breaking 14 times and why fans come back for more year after year. The ZBB harmonies were spot on, and the crowd sang along with every word. The connection between the band and their fans was palpable, as if they were all part of one big, musical family. The heartfelt lyrics and Zac Brown’s soulful voice struck a chord with everyone in attendance, reminding us of the simple joys of life and the power of music to bring people together.
Throughout the evening, the Zac Brown Band maintained a strong, engaged connection with the Zamily. Zac Brown himself, with his charismatic stage presence and genuine interactions with the crowd, made it clear that this wasn’t just a concert; it was a shared experience. The band members, each a virtuoso in their own right, also had their moments to shine, with mesmerizing drum solos and captivating instrumental interludes that left the crowd in awe. The crowd’s reaction was one of pure elation, and it was clear that this performance was one for the books.
As the night went on, the Zac Brown Band introduced a few surprises to keep the audience on their toes. A cover of Radiohead’s hit from the 90s “Creep” injected a shot of adrenaline into the performance, and the crowd’s reaction was nothing short of electric. Zac Brown’s powerful vocals on this rock classic were a testament to the band’s versatility and he could hit the high notes with ease.
The set came to a powerful conclusion with their biggest hit to date “Chicken Fried”. It’s a high-energy, anthemic song that had the crowd on their feet, dancing and singing as if there were no tomorrow. The band’s energy was infectious, and to put the cherry on top, King Calaway appeared on stage and released a LIVE chicken! It’s customary for bands to play a practical joke on each other the last nights of the tour. King Calaway took that to the next level with the live chicken during “Chicken Fried.” Watch the clip below:
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In the end, the Zac Brown Band’s live performance in Tampa, FL, was nothing short of extraordinary. They proved once again that they are masters of their craft, delivering a show that was equal parts heartfelt and exhilarating. The band’s musical prowess, coupled with their ability to connect with the audience on a profound level, created an unforgettable experience that will be etched in the memories of everyone fortunate enough to be in attendance. As always, the Zac Brown Band delivered a musical journey that transcended genres, united fans from all walks of life, and left us all with a profound appreciation for the power of live music. They closed the tour with 2 sold out night in Tampa – maybe next year we’ll be lucky enough to get 3?!
The newest member of the Zac Brown Band, Caroline Jones, started as the staple opening act for the band for 3 years. Zac and co. liked what they heard, and asked her to be a special guest in 2021. It wasn’t long after that the announcement was made she would join as a permanent member. But that hasn’t stopped Caroline from writing, recording, and releasing a new solo album on October 20th called “Homesite”. Her newest single “Million Little Bandaids” has some familiar vocals and melodies with the Zac Brown Band featuring on the track! “This song is about having the courage to be honest,” describes Jones. It was a great surprise to hear the song live at the show in Tampa! Listen to a clip of the catchy, soulful song below:
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Even though the tour came to an end in Tampa, it doesn’t mean you won’t hear more live music from the Zac Brown Band soon! Releasing via Brown’s own label Home Grown Music, “From the Road, Vol. 1: Covers” includes tracks spanning over 11 years and showcases a selection of performances in iconic venues from the ZBB, joined by John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Darrell Scott, Mark O’Connor Band and Marcus King. ZBB’s rendition of Queen’s British-rock anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as well as the recently released cover of “The Way You Look Tonight” made popular by Frank Sinatra, are on the the guilty pleasures album, along with tracks ranging from quintessential rock with “Sweet Emotion” and “Baba O’Riley,” to the Beatles’ pop cult classic “Eleanor Rigby,” to Jimmy Buffett’s tropical escape “Margaritaville” and more.