The Zac Brown Band played a packed out house last night at The Hifi, Sydney, and I was the only person at the venue who had not heard their music before. It was certainly a great way to be introduced to a new band. And what a new band, their latest album debut at no.1 in the US Billboard chart and won five Grammys this year. So they looked good on paper, and thankfully they were totally awesome live.
How did I not know about them? I like to think I keep up to date and usually get some inkling of a band or a song before they are playing to sold out concerts. What I realised was that I hit the genre wall. This band is classified country, which they certainly are, but with quite a bit more (they covered songs by Metallica and Van Morrison). It is interesting to see that a whole genre of music is given a dedicated radio station and TV music channel and carved out from other radio playlists. I am not a fan of segregated music, I like to think that if a song or a band makes you feel and connect with you, who cares how they are classified.
I am glad I don't have to only rely on the radio to introduce me to new music, seeing a band live and saying thanks for the tickets is a good way broaden the horizons. It was great to see a band in their prime playing an intimate venue like The Hifi, a very different setting to sold out stadiums. This may be their first tour of Australia but their fans know every word to their songs and clamoured for more. I am sure they are going to have fun at the Byron Bay Bluesfest this weekend and I am sure they will have more fans before they go home.