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Ann M. J. Joles Ann M. J. Joles
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No failure to entertain for Zac Brown Band

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No failure to entertain for Zac Brown Band edge photo by Chris Joles
Threat of rain fails to dampen crowds

BANGOR - It seems Mother Nature likes it 'Chicken Fried' and held off the rain for the 12,000-plus attendees of the Zac Brown Band's (ZBB) June 2 performance at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion. Braving the cold and predictions of rain, fans flocked to see this special blend of Southern music hospitality.

The show opened with two young artists from Atlanta, Ga., signed to the ZBB label, Southern Ground. Nic Cowan was energetically fresh, mixing funk, rock, and reggae. His songwriting is a smart twist of smirk and style evident in his single 'Hardheaded' and the humorous 'Double Wide.' Sonia Leigh, reminiscent of a young Melissa Etheridge, had a sound somewhere between garage band and honky-tonk. She was all rock n' roll on 'My Name is Money,' but true country with her single 'Bar.' Ending with a cover of 'Born to Run,' she was dead on with her gutsy rendition of this classic.

Zac Brown Band's set list was full of fan favorites such as 'Keep Me in Mind' and 'Knee Deep,' alongside several tunes from the soon- to-be-released album 'Uncaged.' Surrounding the audience in their brand of eclectic country employing fiddle alongside conga drums, ZBB's style was rousing and down-home.

While ZBB fans describe the band as old- fashioned, relaxed, down-to-earth and yes, even cute as a button, the group's performance features an elaborate high- tech stage show. Complete with a gritty projection screen, the stage shifted as the show progressed from Opry to psychedelic, creating a visual spectacle that accompanied the music.

True to their reputation for embracing fans, ZBB took an acoustic jam to the truss in the middle of the GA pit for covers of 'Sweet Emotion'and'Rivers of Babylon.' The band played an extra 15 minutes for Bangor fans and ended with a substantial encore performance with Marshall Tucker's classic 'Can't You See,' 'America the Beautiful,' 'Chicken-Fried,' and 'Colder Weather.'

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