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Last Night: Zac Brown Band at Reliant Stadium

Zac Brown Band Reliant Stadium February 28, 2013

I knew I was going to be a fan of the Zac Brown Band back in May 2012, when just hours after the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch succumbed to cancer, the group came onstage at New Orleans's Jazz Fest to the strains of a Beasties song.

It was that simple token of reverence to a hero of mine that seemed to make me feel good about dipping my toes into the ZBB's world, a country-jam act that I would have slapped myself silly across the face a decade ago for skipping a Dropkick Murphys show (across town at the HOB) to see at RodeoHouston, of all places.

But there I was last night in a seat at Reliant Stadium, and here I am now saying that the ZBB show was one of the more fun shows I have ever seen in my five years of covering rodeo shows.

And that was before their Southern-stank version of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" even happened.

I guess I could also blame 2012's Uncaged and the single "The Wind" for my ZBB conversion, though I cringe at the white-guy reggae attempts. I'm pretty much allergic to palefaces making such a noise.

Aside from that, ZBB hit the spot last night, whether they were weaving Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" inside their own "Free," or making like a cuddlier My Morning Jacket on Uncaged's title track.

The party-hard crowd ate it up, too, with visions of calling in sick on Friday morning dancing in their heads and their souvenir RodeoHouston cups. By the time "Chicken Fried" came up to close the night, the "Little Friday" revelers were in Miller-Lited frenzy.

Definite Cut of the Night: "Uncaged"

Personal Bias: I was called "Zac Brown" last night at least four times because of my beard and knit cap choices. Hey, at least I wasn't being mistaken for Pitbull or Kenny Chesney. BTW, the ZBB sells knit caps at their merch tables in the style of the ones that Brown himself wears onstage. Clever.

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The Crowd: Every single couple that I know, married and otherwise, seemed to be at this rodeo show. The babysitters are rolling in dough today.

Overheard in the Crowd: "We used to make out to Bob Marley, Metallica and Van Morrison," said someone for whom ZBB was probably like watching a giant, revolving hairy jukebox.

Random Notebook Dump: This was probably the least animatronic show I have seen at Reliant Stadium during RodeoHouston.


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