By Annie Reuter January 15, 2016 12:00 PM
A year can change everything, and this fact is not lost on Old Dominion.
The quintet celebrated their first No. 1 as a band Thursday night (Jan. 14) with “Break Up With Him” at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works, and shortly after played to a sold-out crowd. It was a night Old Dominion — made up of songwriters Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi — will likely never forget.
“So far 2016 is pretty damn cool,” frontman Ramsey said several songs in. “The first show we played in 2015 there were maybe 25 people there, so this is a welcomed sight.”
The band’s set included 20 songs, both their own and several No. 1 hits that members of the the band wrote for other artists, further showcasing their talents in the country genre. Their current single — the energetic “Snapback” — kicked off their performance and had the crowd dancing along before they segued effortlessly into slower jam “Shut Me Up.”
While their blend of country songwriting, rock guitar riffs and hip-hop beats kept the audience engaged, it was the sheer magnitude of hits they have written that at times was hard to fathom. Members of Old Dominion had a hand in writing Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into a Bar,” Kenny Chesney’s “Save It for a Rainy Day,” Dierks Bentley’s “Say You Do,” Blake Shelton’s “Sangria,” Sam Hunt’s “Ex to See” and Craig Morgan’s “Wake Up Lovin’ You,” all of which they played while putting their own signature sound on each track.
A band of friends, throughout their set each member was all smiles, frequently leaning up against each other for guitar interludes or sharing animated facial expressions in between each song. Their hometown show was even more special thanks to the fact that the crowd was filled with family and friends.
“Tonight’s a special night,” Ramsey said. “Not only are we in Nashville. Not only did we have a No. 1 party for one of our songs. But tonight, I believe is the first night that every single one of our mothers is in the crowd. Our mamas, we’ve been telling them that people show up when we play and they don’t believe us. So thanks for proving us right.”
While the nostalgic “Nowhere Fast” and “We Got It Right” showcased Old Dominion’s sensitive sides, their playfulness was shown throughout the evening, too. Tracks like the sexy “Wrong Turns” and “Dirt on a Road” amped up the crowd with catchy beats and bass parts alongside sweeping guitar interludes, while the island-esque “Said Nobody” and laid-back “Crazy Beautiful Sexy” continued to show their versatility. It was on their No. 1 single “Break Up with Him,” though, that had the entire venue singing along word for word. Their breakout hit and first No. 1 as a band, which was celebrated in that very room earlier that evening, no doubt held special meaning for Old Dominion.
“This has been a hell of a way to kickoff the year y’all,” Ramsey concluded. “Thanks for coming out.”
Maren Morris opened the night and impressed with songs off her self-titled EP. Tracks like the catchy “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry,” which tells a friend to say goodbye to a terrible guy, caught the audience’s attention while her earworm of a song, “80’s Mercedes” showcased Morris’ staying power. Tapped for Keith Urban‘s upcoming Ripcord Tour, Morris’ command of the stage was impressive. Meanwhile, her powerful storytelling came through with the incredibly honest “I Wish I Was” before her ethereal debut single “My Church” converted the packed venue into a church choir singalong.
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