It’s been over three years since Old Dominion made their first trip to the UK to perform as part of C2C: Country to Country. Back then they weren’t well-known on the Country circuit and their trip served as an introduction to the UK market. Since then, things have really taken off for the band on this side of the pond. They were here in 2017 supporting Thomas Rhett and in 2018 the band graduated to the C2C Main Stage and returned to the UK in November for a headline tour. Less than a year on from that tour, the band is back with their Make It Sweet Tour, which rolled into London with support act Jordan Davis last night.
Just two weeks away from the release of their self-titled third album, Old Dominion used the show at the Eventim Apollo to celebrate their hits, play plenty of fan favourites, remember their roots and preview new songs from their upcoming record. Opening strong with Snapback from their 2015 debut album Meat and Candy, Old Dominion got the audience on side immediately. They kept the tempo high with the fantastically catchy Hotel Key followed by Be With Me before slowing things down a little for Still Writing Songs About You.
The first track in the set list from the band’s upcoming album was One Man Band, their current single, and the audience already knew every single word. Sticking with new tracks, Old Dominion grooved out with the soulful Never Be Sorry and the audience started dancing once again. There wasn’t a single dull moment in the set list, which the band sequenced perfectly. The stirring Nowhere Fast moved into the shimmering Not Everything’s About You, paving the way for the anthemic Break Up With Him.
Midnight Mess Around, another new track, sounded brilliant live and resonated stronger than the studio version does. It’s a funky, groovy and sexy moment that pushes the band into a slightly new territory sonically. Old Dominion followed that up with a hits medley where band members Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey and Brad Tursi performed parts of hits songs they’d co-written for other artists such as Sam Hunt’s Make You Miss Me, Blake Shelton’s Sangria and The Band Perry’s Better Dig Two. For anyone in the crowd who doubted the band’s Country credentials, the medley should have put that to rest.
The second half of the set was just as loaded with gems as the first half. The fan favourite Song For Another Time was a highlight as was the unbelievably catchy No Such Thing As a Broken Heart. The funk was turned up for the infectious Said Nobody and frontman Matthew got to shine on the stripped-down Some People Do, co-written by Thomas Rhett. Another highlight came on New York at Night, one of the band’s more underrated songs, which saw Brad take the lead. Live, the song always sounds like it’s going to explode into a dancefloor banger and it was amazing!
Two new songs came towards the end of the set with My Heart is a Bar and Smooth Sailing leading into the night’s final song Make It Sweet. All three songs are on the band’s new album and all of them translated well to a live environment. Make It Sweet was a strong finish to a brilliant show.
Old Dominion get better with every tour. They are such accomplished artists and musicians, and you can’t help but be swept away by their obvious chemistry. Over the 22-songs they performed, every single one was worthy of inclusion in the set list. This isn’t a band that is happy to pile filler into an album and that makes the live experience among the best you’ll encounter in the Country genre (and to be honest in any genre). For me, this was Old Dominion’s best show yet and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re plotting their return already.
Set list: 1. Snapback 2. Hotel Key 3. Be With Me 4. Still Writing Songs About You 5. One Man Band 6. Never Be Sorry 7. Nowhere Fast 8. Not Everything’s About You 9. Break Up With Him 10. Midnight Mess Around 11. Wake Up Loving You / Better Dig Two / A Guy Walks into a Bar / Say You Do / Sangria / Make You Miss Me / Light It Up / One That Got Away 12. Song For Another Time 13. No Such Thing As a Broken Heart 14. Said Nobody 15. Some People Do 16. Written in the Sand 17. New York at Night 18. Can’t Get You 19. Save It For a Rainy Day (Kenny Chesney cover) 20. My Heart is a Bar 21. Smooth Sailing 22. Make It Sweet Performance date: 10th October 2019 Buy Old Dominion