Zac Brown Band, Lukas Nelson
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
October 27, 2019
In what was perhaps the last pleasant weekend of the extended Houston summer, the Zac Brown Band did the one thing that kept everyone in the audience happy: They kept us updated on the score of the Astros game. They also provided a full house with some of the best country music out there, far removed from the modern "bro" country stars dressed in Ed Hardy shirts with rhinestones on their hats.
This is honest, patriotic music that doesn't try too hard to be cool, and definitely doesn't wear skinny jeans. Yes, the lyrics may still revolve around drinking beer with friends and finding and losing love, but it does so with emotion, soul, and gorgeous harmony.
Houston was the last stop on The Owl Tour, which supports the band's sixth studio album released earlier this year. Reading over the album liner notes was supremely interesting, showing tracks written and produced by Skrillex, Shawn Mendes, Poo Bear, and Houston's own Happy Perez.
Along for the ride serving as the opening act of this tour was Lukas Nelson. You may know him as a major collaborator on the soundtrack for the Academy Award winning film A Star Is Born, as well as being Willie Nelson's son. Just like his father, Lukas has strong, formidable hands with sharp fingers that make his guitar moan and wail with a purpose.
Lukas joined Zac Brown onstage for the track "Find Yourself", which is a blues and funk inspired warning to a would-be lover. "I hope you find yourself, before I find somebody else... I know the love that I deserve."
Nelson is definitely on the rise as a country/rock star, with certain influences from his family heritage, but also singing at times in falsetto like Little Richard and almost doing the splits while playing guitar like Chuck Berry. He even ended his set with the track "Something Real," which inspired him to play with his teeth a la Jimi Hendrix.
I was really hoping to hear Nelson play "Shallow", but I guess it wasn't a shallow type of night.
Once Zac and his crew hit the stage, the crowd was more than ready to sing along to favorites like "Chicken Fried", "Keep Me In Mind", and "Homegrown". But what really sets this band apart is their love for rock covers. They offered up an intense rendition of "Use Somebody" by Kings Of Leon, and finished the night with tracks from Rage Against The Machine, Def Leppard, and Van Halen.
The most poignant set of the night was during the acoustic break down mid show which included "Knee Deep", "Lance's Song", and "Leaving Love Behind".
At the end of the night, the whole band and crew took to the stage wearing Houston Astros baseball caps. They helped us celebrate the win and provided joyful memories to be shared with friends and family for many years to come.
Cost Of Freedom
Devil Went Down To Georgia
Let It Go
Boys In The Band
Keep Me In Mind
Leaving Love Behind
Someone I Used To KNow
Day For The Dead
Lovin You Easy
Jump Right In
Seven Nation Army/Hot For Teacher/Pour Some Sugar On Me/Bulls On Parade