So I took the family last night to see my favorite band: Old Crow Medicine Show, a five-piece acoustic country/folk/bluegrass/roots outfit (did I squeeze in enough labels there?).
Man, I love these guys. They play like their pants are on fire; they do these gorgeous close harmonies that make me cry; their mix of original tunes and covers is just right. My wife, who knew next to nothing about the band going in, pointed out that they’re essentially a rock-band presence whose members play country music.
Exhibit A: when they lit into “James River Blues,” a fan favorite from their Big Iron World album, half the crowd at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center rushed the stage to dance. In my glory days, that would have meant slamming and pogoing; last night, it was actual swing dancing, which I found sweet.
Ah yes, my glory days, to the extent there were any. We arrived early for the concert (too old to run on rock-and-roll time anymore), so I had plenty of time to reminisce and bore my kids with tales of the last time I’d been at the Berklee Center: Nineteen-Freakin’-Seventy-Nine, to see Joe Jackson on what I believe was his first U.S. tour.
Back then, I was one of the first to spring from my seat and dance like a lunatic.
Last night, as the rows in front of us slowly rose (because that was the only way to see the stage, what with all the dancers in the way), I sighed, looked at my kids (who were pretty bored, truth be told), and reluctantly stood. Was happy as a clam when the band finally did a slow song and folks sat.
Then there was an intermission. I knew that the second half of the show would be stuffed with my fave songs (“Down Home Girl,” “I Hear Them All,” “Tell It to Me,” “Wagon Wheel”) – but it was getting late. And it was a school night. And everybody would stand and/or dance throughout the set, so my kids would stare at nothing but keisters.
So we left. Ah, well. I’m guessing the second half of the show was a barnburner.