Zack Williams performs live at the First National Bank Arena
By Christine Miyawa
Delta Digital News Service
Excited fans started flocking the venue as early as 5 p.m. Fans stood in the isles to get a glimpse of the rock star in the pact arena.
One of the event organizers, Mitchell Cole of By His Grace Entertainment, said his job was to bring the locals and the lost community to attend the concert.
“We are 80 tickets short of selling out there were 2,300 available, so, over 2,000 sold. We want to bring the community together to know there is a personal Savior out there and he could be even here tonight,” Cole said.
Micah, who is a strong fan of Williams’ music said she bought her ticket a month earlier and was just waiting for the day of the concert. She said she started listening to Williams songs a year ago and the songs have a positive influence in her life.
“I haven’t heard any of William’s music that I don’t like. My favorite right now is ‘Rescue story’; it’s on repeat all the time,” she said.
Micah said she was excited to watch Williams perform the ‘Rescue Story’ live. Her mother and daughter accompanied her to the concert.
Williams’ branded merchandise, which included T-shirts and all his albums saw a large volume in sales at the merchandise tables near the entrance as fans flooded each table trying to buy something.
While fans settled in the concert hall, Chef Paul Fields prepared food for the rock star and his team of 50 VIPs. Fields travels with the Zack William’s crew wherever the crew goes. The menu consisted of smoked pork ribs, barbecue beef, grilled chicken, potatoes, vegetables and salad. Fields said there are always four shows a week; every night in a different city.
“Williams likes to nibble on the ribs,” he said. Fields specializes in smoked ribs.
The concert hall burst into cheers when Williams hit the stage. Williams is an Arkansas Native, grew up in Bono although he now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and children.
Williams said he was terrified when he first signed his first record label because of fear from a constant reminder of his past.
He said he had this idea of the song he wanted to sing, a song that would put a face on fear and that’s how his hit song; ‘Fear is a liar’ was born.
“I was the kind of guy you would shut your stores when you saw coming,” Williams said.
He struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. He said he is now a changed man.
Several policemen at every corner of the arena offered tight security during the concert.
Jim Brown, the director of the First National Bank Arena said, “We take security very serious for all our events and this is one of those events.”
They did not allow bags of any kind into the concert hall.
He said the University employs different security techniques for different shows depending on what’s going on with the elements of the show.
“I think we will be fine,” Brown said. “We have several events coming; the women’s basketball is still on, the Globetrotters are coming in February, we just announced a Broadway play for kids called the ’12th Night’ is coming, and Acoustic Rock Show is coming in February 4 as well.”
“Tonight, we could have a senior in high school come to the concert and say, ‘I like what Arkansas State has to offer; I want to make that the university I go to.'”
Williams closed the show but not without singing his hit song ‘Chain Breaker’ as the crowd applauded and sang along.
“The concert was fabulous,” David Specking, a fan at the concert said. “I could not wait; I bought the tickets the first time I heard Williams was coming to Jonesboro. I wanted to hear him sing the ‘Chain Breaker’ live.” His wife Ginger helped him ride his wheelchair as they leave the concert venue.
Williams said he never imagined playing music at the Convocation Center. He said it was good to come home and see the faces he hasn’t seen in many years. He has an extensive tour schedule to promote his new album “Rescue Story”. His next stop to perform was Austin, Texas.