Palais Theatre, St Kilda Melbourne
Well this was the definitive curate’s egg.
I’d seen Zac play at Byron a few years ago with a highlight being some duelling southern guitar with them on their Gibson’s and Bonnie Raitt playing some lovely slide, It was a wonderfully paced southern rock show.
Fast out of the blocks with a medley including yawn Devil went down to Georgia and a not so good version of Cold Weather.Such a lovely song – pity. Ok. First show back on the road, maybe jet lagged: it’ll wind up methinks.
But what a perpelxing setlist.
A country rock number or one of their magnificent ballads would be followed by a cover and we’re not talking Hank Williams. Nirvana, Floyd’s Comfortably Numb with a good guitar solo but no David Gilmour and then, Lord spare me, Bohemian Rhapsody. Ok ,it was ok but Zac can’t match the high notes of Freddie (who can) -so why bother?
This was a ramped up show ,big PA ,loud ,full on laser lights that were very effective when not shining in your eyes and a gun band. But how is a set list like that supposed to satisfy his audience? Zac has always had an ecelctic sound but that has always been a meld of country and calypso a la Jimmy Buffett not grunge and prog. Apparently his shows can feature James Brown, Billy Joel, Metallica, Stevie Wonder etc. Great:you like a lot of stuff ,you can play a lot of stuff. But that’s not what we buy your records for. Speaking of which – there is a new record coming out in a week.”Gotta a lotta different stuff on it. Something for everyone.You may not like everything but hopefully you will like some of the songs” says Zac. Sounds horrible.
They have a # 1 record in the States -congratulations but I reckon you may have lost me.
A sold out show, I felt like I was in Tamworth. A lot of tanned necks and fat arses. They cheered and clapped along to all the songs determined to have a good time . They applauded the covers in all their styles loudly, but it was the country rock and ballads where they really cheered.
It made me think..
I cant see how this band can stay together. How much pleasure is a country fiddler going to get from playing “You do what they tell ya”?