Concert Review: Old Dominion at Hard Rock Live
Disclosure: I was invited to attend Old Dominion’s concert in exchange for this post. All opinions here are my own.
This past Friday, Hollywood’s Hard Rock Live contained a slew of cowboy boots, flannel, and raucous laughter from people who consumed way too much White Claw. Attendees were present for five piece country band Old Dominion, comprised of Matthew Ramsey (lead), Trevor Rosen (guitar/keyboards), Brad Tursi (guitar), Whit Sellers (drums) and Geoff Sprung (bass guitar).
The set kicked off with “Not Everything’s About You” from 2017’s Happy Endings. Audience members sang along, albeit off key — very off key.
Following was the infectious “Break Up with Him”. Ramsey had fun with this one, pointing to Tursi in the second verse while crooning, “Just tell him, it’s you, it ain’t him”. Tursi responded appropriately with a very funny frown. Ramsey allowed the audience to sing without him for the last chorus.
“How are you guys doing tonight?” Ramsey asked the audience after “Song for Another Time”. Decked in dark blue plaid and light jeans, he was the epitome of boyish Southern charm. Holding up a mini xylophone, Ramsey addressed his adoring fans again: “Have you guys ever seen one of these before?”
The audience cheered, to which Ramsey replied, “Bet you haven’t…We only use this for one song, and that’s one off our new album. It’s called “No Hard Feelings’.”
Off their newest album Time, Tequila & Therapy, the band segued into the single while the corresponding music video played onscreen.
“Oooh!” A couple started gyrating during the opening notes of “Never Be Sorry”. Ramsey touched the hands of frenzied females in the front row and even knelt down while one filmed it selfie style on her phone.
Slowing things down, the soulful “Written in the Sand” was performed next. The crowd swayed side to side, jamming out. Ramsey provided a pleasant surprise, performing an impromptu rap verse and promoting the audience to whoop loudly when Ramsey unexpectedly dropped an expletive.
“This is the song we brought to sing with you, not just to you,” said Ramsey before “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart”. He continued, “This song is custom made, custom cut to this moment right here so we can sing it…you gotta sing it loud.” The crowd gladly complied, with the most audience participation this far. One woman appropriately summed it up: “That was a jammer!”
It was apparent this was more than just a gig for Old Dominion: it was their passion. All five members exuded high energy and smiles, clearly enjoying themselves.
Ramsey proved this notion by taking a moment to speak in the middle of the “Nowhere Fast”.
“And we just want to keep on going but if we can walk out of a room like this with a room of people with their arms in the air it will carry us for a long way,” he said after speaking. how the band was just getting used to playing again. “Thank you for being here and listening to us.”
Ramsey further expressed the band’s gratitude throughout the night, and even toasted the crowd with a black solo cup of tequila before “I Was On a Boat That Day”. The crowd proved to be real fans, cheering as soon as the infamous countdown in the beginning was chanted.
After a few energetic numbers with even more audience participation, the opening notes of the mellow “One Man Band” played, prompting some enthusiastic audience. members to start singing before the song even started.
Towards the end, surrounded by lit up phones, a proposal occurred. The bride-to-be radiated joy, smiling from ear to ear.
Old Dominion’s energy was infectious and paired with their compatible chemistry, the event was more than just a concert: it was an unforgettable experience. Playing Kenny Chesney’s “Save It For a Rainy Day”, the band put a fun twist on it. The music stopped mid-song, and the lights were turned on. Applause erupted. Ramsey waved his mic side to side, prompting cheers from each side it was pointed at. After a survey of the arena and quirky smirk exchanged between Ramsey and Rosen, the song resumed. Tursi even sang the second verse.
More unexpected surprises came, even as the finale was nearing. For “Hawaii”, Ramsi handed out leis before hanging the final yellow one around his neck. Images of Hawaii played along with video clips of the band in the recording studio.
“Before we go I just want to say… we walked out on stage and was like ‘damn’” said Ramsey during “Make It Sweet”.
“We saw people in the front all the way to the top and said ‘damn’”, he emphasized, after mentioning the show was sold out. Ramsey once again expressed his gratefulness for everyone present, but judging by the smiles, dancing, and off key singing, the audience was indeed the grateful ones.
Not Everything’s About You
Break Up with Him
Song for Another Time
No Hard Feelings
Never Be Sorry
Written in the Sand
No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
Hear You Now
I Was On a Boat That Day
Ain’t Nothing Wrong with Love
One Man Band
Cant Get You
Save It For a Rainy Day
Shut Me Up
Make It Sweet