Aftermath has heard a decent amount of entertaining segues at concerts. Most concert segues are awkward and some are funny, but this one from Zac Brown's last night was the most country shit we've ever heard: "Sometimes you have to fight the chicken when you're a man."
At first we thought it was a backwards, pseudo-sexual Georgia turn of phrase, but then the Zac Brown Band began playing "Sic Em On A Chicken" and the crowd joined in screaming out, "Sic em on a chicken and watch them feathers fly!" That's the best way to describe last night at The Woodlands. It was southern rock at its most country fried.
We got to the pavilion in time to catch opener Sonia Leigh, who reminded us alot of Jana Hunter and a little of Joan Jett. She has a husky, alto voice that sounds like she had too much gin the night before. Leigh sang a few songs about love, loss, and whiskey, which was the running theme of the night thanks to the sponsor of the tour, Jack Daniels. At least the sponsor was content-appropriate.
Zac Brown Band came on stage around 9 p.m. and opened with their summer single, "Keep Me In Mind" from the band's second studio album. We could tell by the way the lady next to us was swinging her ponytail that their fan base is a unique strain of country music lover.
We found out that the group is actually less bluegrass country and more jam band country. During "It's Not OK," bassist John Hopkins talked his way through the lyrics like Charlie Daniels in "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." Fiddler Jimmy De Martini got his time to shine in a nearly 2 minute long solo. It felt like a hoedown.
After "It's Not OK", the guys introduced a totally different type of song, something that reminded us of a '90s country ballad by George Strait or Alan Jackson. We found out later that Jackson contributed guest vocals on the ballad, "As She's Walking Away." They also all won a Grammy for it earlier this year.
ZBB continued with another love song called "Free" and we watched the couple in front of us start to slow dance. We sipped our friend's Diet Pepsi as if we were getting a show inside of a show.
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Next came another whiskey song followed by a ballad called "Colder Weather" about lovers and the ramblin' ones who run from them. That was our favorite cut of the night, perhaps because, by that point, it was 53 degrees and it really sounded like a country song our mom would have listened to.
The group said "Adios and vaya con dios" and played "Can't You See," a collaboration they recorded with Kid Rock.
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Personal Bias: I've been on a Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn kick lately, so it was fun to see such a popular contemporary country act. Plus, they all look super alt.
The Crowd: A surprising amount of drunken moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. They were lovin' it. Hope y'all got home safe. Also, a Kevin James doppelganger who was sitting to the left of us.
Overheard in The Crowd: "OhmygoditotallydownloadedthewrongLoseYourselfandohmygoditwasactually EmineminsteadofZacBrownanditstartedplayingsuperloudandohmygod" - Girl next to us who hit us in the face with her sharp ponytail.
Random Notebook Dump: We wanted to see Alan Jackson too.