Xfinity Theatre summer concert series to kick off with Zac Brown - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Xfinity Theatre summer concert series to kick off with Zac Brown Band

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Crews prepare for the Zac Brown Band at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. (WFSB photo) Crews prepare for the Zac Brown Band at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford. (WFSB photo)
The Hall of Icons backstage at the Xfinity Theatre. (WFSB photo) The Hall of Icons backstage at the Xfinity Theatre. (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A summer concert series is set to kick off in Hartford Thursday night.

The Zac Brown Band is the first of 20 coming to the Xfinity Theatre in the coming months.

Eyewitness News obtained an exclusive sneak peak behind the scenes on Thursday morning and saw what the bands see before they head on stage.

Close to 20,000 people are expected to attend the concert.

"It's something that you just can't bottle," said Jim Bozzi, Live Nation CT. "I've been doing this for over 30 years because I get to work with 20,000 people. It's just something that's always exciting, always fresh. We're so excited to have this act [Thursday night]."

Bozzi said a lot still needed to be done to prepare for the concert.

"This is kind of early for us," Bozzi said. "Last year we started in June. There's a lot of activity going on in the plaza. Trucks will arrive because there's three bands including Zac Brown, so all of the production equipment will be unloaded onto the stage."

Bozzi said the stage at the Xfinity Theatre is massive so it can serve the multiple bands that may perform on a single night.

"Every band has a different production," he said. "We've got the Zac Brown Band [Thursday night] whose production is maybe not as big as when Slipknot gets here and it's like a three-ring circus. Rascal Flats comes in here with a big production. Years ago Tina Turner had one of the biggest shows ever here. So we needed a stage to fit whoever wants to play here."

Bozzi said that's how they attract the A-listers.

It certainly isn't the first time the Zac Brown Band has performed at the Xfinity Center. Their photo graces the Hall of Icons backstage.

"It's a great homage to some of the biggest stars we've had in Hartford," Bozzi said.

Every person on the walls has walked through the hallway.

"The best thing is when the other stars come in here, and they look at Tim McGraw or Kiss, and it's kind of like cool watching a star look at the people who have performed, and be able to walk in their shoes for a night," Bozzi said.

Those shoes take them to one of several dressing rooms ready for a full crew.

"They'll bring their costumes, they'll bring their stuff, we'll have catering out here for them and it becomes a whole different room," Bozzi explained.

Then it's out onto the stage for the performers.

There are a few new things for concert goers this year. Guy Fieri's Burger Joint is opening outside of the Pavilion.

Also, Live Nation continues to offer $20 ticket deals for lawn seats at the theater and for the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford.

To check out the rest of the acts coming to Hartford and Wallingford, click here.

The Zac Brown Band show starts at 8 p.m.

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