There may have been a hurricane blowing out West, but in Dublin it was all about Tennessee Tornadoes. Apart from the apt weather based humour, I think I’ve finally settled on the best description I can give to the lunatics of Old Crow Medicine Show. Back in Dublin for the second time in as many years, in an age where certain other country stars find it hard to get over here at all, they showed every inch of their grass roots class to put on one of the best live shows you’re ever likely to see.
Most will probably know Old Crow’s most famous track, “Wagon Wheel” though unfortunately a large number will be more familiar with a rather unfortunate cover version floating about these days. Well if you want to hear the true s**t kickin’ rendition go no further than these guys. From the first note, the amount of talent on the stage is just mind boggling, starting in fact with support act Parker Millsap and his band quickly cementing in as my new favourite act. On came the Crows though and the party was on. Kicking off with Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer (I think, they can be quite hard to understand!) the tempo didn’t drop once in the first hour of the show. Highlights included the exceptional dancing skills of Cory Younts who of course threw in a few Michael Flatley-esque high kicks for our amusement and once again Mr. Younts and his “face-off” with their well over-worked roadie.
Something that didn’t feature at their excellent show last year made an appearance last night though and it certainly made the night, when out on stage an omni-directional microphone made an appearance and half the band came forward for two acoustic – and I mean acoustic – set. Turns out the second of these two tracks, The Warden, is from their new album but I need to reinforce this point once more, it doesn’t matter. When sometimes you go to see a band and worry that they’ll play all new material or won’t play this or that, with Old Crow it is wholly irrelevant. I mean, I listen to their albums, or at least I try, but since seeing them live for the first time last year it all sounds hollow by comparison to what their live show achieves. The songs are great, of course they are, but when you’re there you just feel somewhat privileged to be allowed listen in on these seven mad musicians.
After this came the standard home run, tracks like CC Rider, Tell It To Me and of course Wagon Wheel which is a collection to bring any house down. But man do these guys do encores well. Welcoming Parker Millsap and his band back on stage the ensemble kicked into a stirring bespoke cover of Van Morrison’s In The Mystic. Along with last year’s cover of Dirty Old Townit’s just a damn nice touch, having heard The Clancy’s The Holy Groundearlier in the night. Finishing off the night was a stirring cover of Tom Petty’s American Girlleaving all to go home smiling. At 29 quid, you just simply can’t go wrong, don’t miss these guys next time out.