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Friday, 09 September 2016 10:47

King Zac the First

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Sometimes I look at my business card in disbelief. My title here is Fun and Games Editor. Pretty cool actually, plowing both the A+E and sports platforms, in a market where there are bushels of material – year round. I have a wealth of choices, and each week I try to pick the best of the best and present it to you. If you see me, ask me for my card – I’d be delighted to give you one. But sometimes, late in the work day, actually at night – after I have done all my editing and set up to do my own byline writing, like this review of the fabulous Zac Brown Band, my eyes sometimes get tired. And I look down at that same business card. Amazingly, the word “Editor” magically morphs into “Emperor.” And before long, while I rest my eyes a bit, I actually visualize what it might be like to be the Emperor. Not in the dictatorial sense, that’s not my style. But perhaps I might wave my scepter and transform society and change its peoples for the better. A nice goal. But I had no specific prescription. Until the night of Saturday, September 3 when I saw the Zac Brown Band at SPAC. There I got the answer. I decided that Zac Brown should be King. Zac Brown I, King of the United States. Now, as Emperor, of course, what I say goes. But let me try to build a consensus here. First, to quote a current Presidential nominee, “You could do worse.” This is true and we appear to be headed to be doing just that. And this is not meant to be a slam at one side or the other. Let me even the score: Can anyone seriously imagine Zac Brown taking home government emails? No, I think he knows he has better things to do. Like entertaining, thrilling and bringing diverse, SRO crowds like SPAC’s to jaw-dropping delight over the music industry’s most creative genre mash-up. So consider me an equal-opportunity slammer, non-partisan and yet disgusted with the whole set up this election year. And I know I am hardly alone. Nearly everyone I spoke to at SPAC that night, and during the Labor Day weekend, expressed thoughts not unlike Ray Milland in the movie “The Lost Weekend,” to wit: ‘What have we done?’ In my previous review of this band, in August 2014 – all the glowing verbiage about his performance that was true then is even better now. Zac Brown has grown musically, has grown spiritually, because he is true to the values that have gotten him to the pinnacle of his profession. What are these qualities that would make an Emperor want to crown Zac Brown as king? Let me list a few, you can do the comparing and contrasting yourself: - Humility and Gratitude: Consider the third paragraph of my 2014 review: Zac Brown said something similar this year: “We truly appreciate each and every one of you coming. We remember what it was like to play for beer money not so long ago, and we take nothing for granted, I assure you.” He’s not saying it by rote; it’s a little different each time, for it comes from the heart. - Philosopher-King: Not only was the crowd at SPAC massive, but it was the most diverse of any Live Nation show this season. They came to hear and groove and listen and cheer a band, led by a person who builds bridges: Bridges between musical genres (name another group that can medley-blend from Led Zeppelin to Charlie Daniels to Billy Preston and then The Who!), and between peoples. This is a man, in the tradition of great leaders from both major parties, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, for instance, who is all about tearing down walls, not building them. Enough said – my eyes are clearing, so it is time for the Emperor to rule. Accordingly: - The Presidential Election is hereby cancelled. All Constitutional provisions and legislation regarding said elections are temporarily suspended. All other Constitutional privileges and rights remain intact. - Zac Brown is hereby crowned King. All hail King Zac the First! Tell me true, don’t you wish you could be Emperor?
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