Zac Brown Band and Blackberry Smoke at Klipsch Music Center (Slideshow)
On an unbearably hot day in the quiet town of Noblesville, the masses assembled at Klipsch music center to see one of country music's good ole boy, Zac Brown.
The evening started out with a shocker. As I sunkinto my seat for the first act, Sonia Leigh, I am taken a bit off guard. Confused I checked my phone to make sure I was in fact at the right location for the show. On the stage, bounding around like a ball of energy is what seems to be a Runaways cover band fronted by a girl with the looks and voice to match. I didn't expect to see skinny jeans, a baseball tee, multicolored hair and Converse as an opener for a relaxed country band. Even though it didn't feel as though it fit the style of music for the next two bands it was great. The music was on point and clean. Raw gritty vocals overlaid the dynamic instrumentals to give a surprising, but great, performance.
Next to take the stage was the southern rockers Blackberry Smoke. This was what I thought I was going to see! This band has had a rapidly expanding fanbase recently due to their solid guitar work, excellent drumming, pounding bass and throwback vocals. A bit Led Zeppelin, Shooter Jennings, Lynard Skynard and Merle Haggard all tossed into a blender and made current. I cannot say enough about this band's unique sound and just plain cool southern vibe. There were many times during their set that this reviewer found himself in awe of the guitar solos and overall mastery of instruments by this band.
The tech crews took quite a while to set up a large circular backdrop that dwarfed the middle of the stage. As the alcohol flowed and the sun beat down on the restless crowd, the concertgoers became restless. After a few shoving matches (that were quickly handled by security) and some spilled drinks (that were quickly absorbed by my notepad and shirt) the show finally began.
It was worth the spilled beer and the heat. The band's precision is amazing. Not one note was off time or out of sync. Studio-quality vocals washed over the crowd and made them forget the heat as the sun began to set. The set list was ripe with radio hits as well as music off the bands new album Uncaged. Mr. Brown worked the crowd with the skill of a ringleader, allowing the crowd to lull and rise as they performed. When the last song was finished and the crowd had started to leave, you couldn't help but feel the crowd's contentment. The orange blue sky framing the Klipsch sign as I pulled out of the parking lot and the music still ringing in my chest was the perfect ending to the (super hot) day.