Zac Brown Band

Mandalay Bay Events Center, Jan. 20

The Southern country band made a flamboyant opening, playing “Keep Me in Mind” behind a cover, which blew off to reveal the band, a runway, several changing backdrops and enough colored lights to give one convulsions. Zac Brown Band played several of their No. 1 hits, such as “As She’s Walking Away” and “Highway 20 Ride,” to an enthusiastic crowd that often sang along. The live versions included extra instrumental solos. But when the band offered a high-energy cover of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” complete with added instrumental jams, the crowd really lost it. Guitarist Clay Cook even ran down the runway and slid on his knees, and got a standing ovation in return. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

Smokey Robinson


Smokey Robinson

By Jarret Keene

Always a poet, a punner, a master of metaphors and clever references, the Motown legend took the stage inside a giant Baby Boomer-stuffed ballroom and opened with “Going to a Go-Go.” Second song? “I Second That Emotion.” At 71, he dances like a fool, cracks jokes and tells stories about the salad days—when he used to compose tunes for another act (the Temptations) in his head while driving his own touring band the Miracles cross-country. Robinson told of when he attended a record-company Christmas party so Stevie Wonder could hand him a tape of music, asking Robinson to write lyrics.