Festivals present a lot of opportunities to see bands that you don’t know and become a fan. I can’t say that I’m completely unfamiliar with Old Crow Medicine Show; of course I’ve joined others in singing “Wagon Wheel” at parties throughout college. But past their most widely known material I was basically clueless. Little did I know the band had such charisma.
I was pleasantly shocked by that actually. Lead singer Ketch Secor really set the mood of the show telling jokes with his most authentic country accent. The Virginia band told stories throughout their set of all the southern areas they have traveled touring over the years and it was apparent they had been tested by just about everything.
They were the kind that seemed experienced in everything but performed with ease, as if it was no big deal. They rotated instruments some throughout the set without even a blink of the eye. Several band members took turns singing as well, each with unique personalities. My favorite was their banjo player, an older gentlemen wearing a trucker hat reading ‘Iggy Pop & the Stooges’, begging the crowd to ‘join the revolution’. He has probably toured for… a while, I’d say.
Despite not knowing many of the songs, the show was still a great time for me. So much of the set is their awesome playing. Sometimes they would synchronize dance moves and jump across the stage while soloing together. If they weren’t psyching up the crowd with their music, they were breaking it down with their dance moves.
The best thing a ‘non-fan’ (but now a new-fan) could say about Old Crow Medicine Show is that everyone could learn to singalong to the songs throughout the set as happily as they would eventually sing “Wagon Wheel”. This band just knows how to have fun, and they aren’t like any other country or folk artist you’ve ever seen before. With enough personality to fill all four of Bunbury’s stages, Old Crow Medicine Show shined under the light of those chandeliers.