Thursday’s concert at Turning Stone Resort and Casino by Nashville’s Old Dominion was the first of a two-night stay in Verona. Dubbed “The Band Behind the Curtain,” Old Dominion brought abundant hits to the stage in the event center. These songs were not only hits that they have written as a band but hits that they have written for other artists as well. Old Dominion consists of Matthew Ramsey on lead vocals and guitars, Brad Tursi on lead guitar and vocals, Trevor Rosen on keyboards, guitars, accordion and vocals, Geoff Sprung on bass and Whit Sellers on drums.
Ramsey, Tursi, and Rosen have written dozens of songs for other big-named country artists. All three started their careers as songwriters, honing their skills in Nashville. Ramsey told a story of how the songwriters had number-one singles on the charts before the band even came together. In modern country music, it is a rarity to find an artist who writes all of their own material, but Old Dominion is blessed with three of the best songwriters in the business.
Last night was Matthew Ramsey’s 44th birthday. Before the first note was played on stage, fans serenaded him with “Happy Birthday.” Touring in support of the recently released Time, Tequila & Therapy, Old Dominion wasted no time getting to fan-favorite songs, opening with “Wrong Turns” and launching right into one of their biggest hits “Song For Another Time.” The crowd wasn’t as big as one would expect for a band of this pedigree, but the fans in attendance made up for the empty seats by singing extra loud (there are only a handful of tickets left for tonight’s show.) Ramsey and company didn’t seem to care or notice. They put on a high-energy, seventeen-song set which included a small acoustic set focusing on the songs that they have written for others. Ramsey, Tursi, and Rosen took turns playing a verse and chorus of monster hits by the likes of Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, and Keith Urban.
New material was sprinkled throughout the hits. Most of which I expect to be hearing on country radio in the near future. “Drinking My Feelings” is reminiscent of “Beast of Burden” by the Stones, with a great groove and killer hook. “I Was on a Boat That Day” is going to be a summertime anthem on lakes all over the country.
Old Dominion closed their set with “My Heart is a Bar.” Closing it out with the band around a single microphone, a capella. A two-song encore started with “Hawaii” off of Time, Tequila & Therapy. They saved their biggest hit for last. “Make It Sweet” sent the fans off with a solid sing-along.
Old Dominion takes that stage again tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available.