To be honest I had never really heard Old Crow Medicine Show apart from my mate Ben being into them in a big way and him mentioning them to me, and playing one song to me a year or so ago. I dig bluegrass, traditional country music etc, but just never chased up their stuff. But when I saw they were coming to NZ, I decided I would pot along and check them out.
No, I didn’t go buy any of their CD’s just so I could be one of the many ‘fan since yesterday’ types. I was happy to not be able to sing along with any of their tunes, apart from their awesome rendition of CC Ryder, which was in the encore bracket. And because I can’t sit here and list off all the songs they played etc, I will keep it very simple. They were good, very good.
But…….yes, there is a but, where were the awesome guitar solos? There weren’t any. GUTTED. The main singer could rip a mean fiddle solo, and the dobro player was very tasty at times. But no one ripped on the guitar or banjo, quite a shame really. They kicked out same fast tunes, which had the crowd almost as intense as a Slayer moshpit, but the musician in me wanted more.
But that’s my only gripe. Other than that they put on an awesome show, had the crowd eating out of their hands, even if they did say ‘We love Kiwis’, ‘We love New Zealand’ and ‘Hello land of the long white clouds’ over and over again. Hahaha. I guess it’s normal that most cities or countries go nuts when they hear an international band say the name. I’m going to give it a go when I play in Australia next.
After watching their first set from the front, I took the set break as an opportunity to head to the back of the room, and the sound back there was awesome. You could hear everything (unlike up front). Some slow blues tunes bought the crowd back down a bit until they slaughtered them with two more fast hillbilly anthems and then it was all over. A very worthwhile $55 spent I reckon.
Now I must also mention that the opening act was a band from Lyttleton Bay, Christchurch, known as The Eastern Family. They were good, have a lot of potential indeed once they get some more writing experience under their belt. The lead singer was hilarious, great sense of humor and the kind of guy I could watch regularly without getting bored or fear of repetition. His best line was delivered right at the beginning of the night. ‘We would like to thank Old Crow Medicine Show for being our closing act tonight. We asked the Feelers, but they said no, so thanks guys’. Classic stuff.
Go check out youtube for OCMS and see what you think. I reckon I could be in for getting a couple of their CD’s at some stage. Please note that the first 14 pictures are of The Eastern Family