C2C REVIEW: Old Dominion – Friday 9th March 2018, The O2

Credit: Luke Dyson

The build-up was finally over. C2C was back in town at The O2 and after a fabulous first day of pop-up stage entertainment, we took our seats in the arena full of excitement for the evening ahead. The opening arena slot on the Friday needs a rocking party band to crank up the atmosphere and get the crowd up and dancing, and I think the C2C organisers chose the perfect act that did exactly that. That act was Old Dominion. These guys have come a long way in a very short time; just two years ago they were doing the after party at the Brooklyn Bowl. Following a hugely successful tour with Thomas Rhett at the back end of 2017, they opened this year’s main stage, where they rightfully deserve to be.

This was a set list totally tailored for an arena crowd, and I would imagine a very similar one to their Kenny Chesney tour set lists over the summer. They opened the show with huge fan favourite ‘Song For Another Time’ which of course got the die-hards up on their feet straight away, and they maintained the energy from then onwards with their immense stage presence, infectious choruses and catchy melodies. A quick mention for lead singer Matt Ramsey too – this guy knows how to pull off a live performance; one of the clearest, most effortless vocal deliveries you will ever witness.

It was a lovely mix of tracks from their debut album ‘Meat and Candy’ and their sophomore release ‘Happy Endings’. ‘Wrong Turns’ and ‘So You Go’ added a bit of edge to the performance with the rocky guitar licks and anthemic choruses, before we went into a slightly more pop section with the likes of ‘Be With Me’ (a personal favourite from the second album), their newest hit ‘Written In The Sand’, ‘Hotel Key’ and of course ‘No Such Thing As A Broken Heart’. That’s the thing about Old Dominon, every track is a potential country radio smash, and every single one of them translates so well in the live shows.

The heaviest moment was provided with ‘Can’t Get You’, a chance for the boys to let loose and show us their instrumental talents with some killer guitar riffs and that thumping back beat. It’s simply made for arena crowds, so much so that the recording on the album was a live recording. Then, they slowed down the pace with ‘Nowhere Fast’, one of the stand-outs from the terrific debut album, before bringing the show to a close with the soulful ‘Not Everything’s About You’ and their platinum single ‘Snapback’.

Give it a few more years and maybe another album or two and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see these boys much further up the bill at C2C. They’re easily one of the most consistent bands in today’s genre and certainly one of the most enjoyable, engaging bands to watch live. Good job, boys.

Dan Wharton
@LifeInASong_Dan

Set List:

  1. Song for Another Time
  2. Wrong Turns
  3. So You Go
  4. Be With Me
  5. Written in the Sand
  6. Hotel Key
  7. No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
  8. Can’t Get You
  9. Nowhere Fast
  10. Break Up With Him
  11. Not Everything’s About You
  12. Snapback