The Zac Brown Band is going home to Georgia to celebrate New Year's Eve with a special show at the Philips Arena in Atlanta on December 31. Considering the year they've had, the group is pretty excited to be ringing in 2011 with a hometown crowd. While the band has never been shy about their love for Georgia, for at least one of them, the effects of the upcoming event didn't sink in until recently.

"I got to see Dave Matthews, we did some tours with him so he came into town and I got him to hook me up with some tickets and got to hang out with the guys," guitarist Coy Bowles tells Atlanta's Metromix. "I saw them about three weeks ago and I was standing out on the floor of Philips Arena, and I was just looking around, thinking, 'I can't believe we're about to play here.' Because we've played places that big before if not bigger, but there's this thing where it's like where we came from and where we're at now. It's a monumental show for us. Playing the Fox was a big deal for us, but Philips is kind of like the last stand in Atlanta."

The homecoming show will no doubt be full of surprises musically, since the band will be jamming with some longtime local friends. "I think we're going to try and pull out all the guns that we know in Atlanta," Coy explains. "That's kind of the word on the street now ... that we're going to try and get all the guys we know from Atlanta that we've been playing with, and do as much good music as we possibly can."

And of course, they'll host their legendary "eat-and-greet" before the show, where fans can chow down on home-cooked specialties from Zac himself and bond with the band, something they've become very fond of over the past year.

"I think that's pretty much a standard now," Coy admits. "We just got this new cooking trailer. It's this really huge state-of-the-art thing so we're really able to feed about as many people as we want to now. We get to sit down with our fans, probably 200 fans on a nightly basis, and just hang out with them. And it stops being about the photos and the signatures and all the stuff that in the end, isn't going to matter anyway. It's about the experience. We get to experience them, and they get to experience us. It's been a really awesome idea and experience, and it's kind of win-win."