10.27.2013

Zac Brown Band at the Hollywood Bowl

The last concert I went to was the Dave Matthews Band in 2005. A number of years ago...... A friend was getting married and I was in her wedding. She was a great bride and the only rule was we needed to wear black. I was living in San Luis Obispo at the time and went to San Francisco to visit her and shop for a dress. As luck would have it, her soon to be husband had a job that got tickets to a number of concerts and the weekend I was up there they had tickets to the Dave Matthews Band. We arrived and the opening act was the Blackeyed Peas! I was a fan of both bands and danced all night. We had great tickets and it was a fabulous show.

After that the only concerts I went to were "Concerts in the Park". No big deal. They weren't on my radar. So I was a little surprised when T called me on Thursday as I was driving to a conference to ask if I wanted to see Zac Brown Band at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday. He explained that he liked the Zac Brown Band and had never been to a show at the Hollywood Bowl. I hadn't either. After a little discussion the plan was to see if he could get tickets and if so we would drive to LA when I got back from my conference. The traffic gods smiled on me and I was home by 4pm on Friday. T got home soon after and we headed into LA.

If you don't live in Southern California you might not think anything of this, but if you understand LA traffic, you would feel like we did; that this drive could take up to four hours. We were ready to sit in traffic and were amazed when we made it to the Hollywood Bowl in about an hour and a half. We then parked in Lot D and made our way into the bowl. There were people picnicking and tailgating as we walked over. Lots of cowboy boots and cowboy hats. As this was a last minute adventure we didn't really plan for a picnic or even really understand how the Hollywood Bowl worked, but we quickly learned.

There are places to eat, drink, and order food in the Bowl area once you have entered. We surveyed our options and went with a burger and fires and some beer. Prices were beyond Disneyland expensive but they had some good beer options and it was the Hollywood Bowl, so we kind of expected it.

T had gotten our tickets on Stubhub and done some research when looking at his options. We were in J1 Row1 Seats 1&3. What that translates to is front row, aisle seats, in the wooden bleachers behind the box seats. When we found them we were very happy. They were great seats!

There were two opening acts that were okay. They are on the Zac Brown label, Southern Ground and were the AJ Ghent Band and Dugas. As these bands were playing more and more people kept coming in. I think the show might have been sold out. It seemed packed by the time the Zac Brown Band came on.

When the show started the band sounded really good. I wanted to jump up and dance but felt self-conscious because no one else in our section was standing. Then I started having this sinking feeling that maybe the Hollywood Bowl wasn't the kind of place you got to stand up and enjoy your concert. Maybe I would have to sit through it.....

I kept looking around and seeing different groups of people sitting and then other groups standing. I didn't want to stand in front of the people behind me so for the first three songs I stayed seated and kind of danced in my seat. Then the band did a cover of Metallica's Enter Sandman and the place exploded! Everyone was on their feet dancing and singing. From that moment on the concert was outstanding. The band was excellent live, better than any album I heard. They had guests and covered a few songs. One of the musicians proposed to his girlfriend on stage and Sarah Dugas from Dugas sang At Last as they danced together. The trumpet player Rashawn Ross from the Dave Matthews band joined them for a cover of Under the Table and Dreaming and Jason Mraz sang two songs with the group. Their encore ended with the Devil went down to Georgia and T and I very impressed with the Hollywood Bowl and the Zac Brown Band! It was an amazing night!

 

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