The Zac Brown Band probably is coming to a football stadium near you.
Nominated for five honors in the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards — which CBS televises Sunday, April 3 — one of today’s top acts in the genre is teaming with Kenny Chesney for concerts tailored to big crowds in big venues. Among those on the immediate horizon: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (Saturday, March 19), and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas (Saturday, April 16).
“I’d explained the way I do my show to Kenny,'” singer-guitarist Brown tells Zap2it. “The opening act goes on for about an hour, we kind of sit in with them, then we play for two hours and bring them back up on stage. The last hour is kind of a ‘Last Waltz’ collaboration of everybody. Kenny called me back and said, ‘I have a lot of people who want to come on the road with us, but I want to do something that will really blow the fans away.’
“The last 45 minutes to an hour of the shows we do with him are my whole band and his whole band. We’re going to bring 50,000 or 60,000 fans at a time a show that hopefully will knock their socks off and leave them thinking, ‘Wow, that was a memorable moment.'” The itinerary for early June includes FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., and Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Also up for four additional ACM Awards, including producer of album of the year (for his Atlanta-based band’s “You Get What You Give”) and composer of song of the year (for “As She’s Walking Away,” the band’s teaming with Alan Jackson), Brown is also organizing his Grammy-winning group’s first annual Southern Ground Music and Food Festival. The event will be staged Friday through Sunday, April 8-10, at Clemson University in South Carolina.
“One passion I have is feeding people, and we’re doing that in a very, very big way this year,” confirms Brown, who also has just donated land in Georgia for a camp for special-needs children. “We’ll roll into a field and bring all the production and all the beverages and all the food, and people don’t need to bring anything but comfortable shoes.
“They can have a performance that exceeds their expectations, a quality of food and drink that exceeds their expectations, and really feel they got their money’s worth. We want to super-serve our fans, because that’s how we perpetuate into the future as a band.”