Old Dominion Bring a Host of New Hits to Show at Nashville’s Blue Bar
While most bars in Nashville are packed any night of the week, there was a reason the Blue Bar in Midtown was filled with people on a Monday night (July 24). Old Dominion went above and beyond to delight the hoards of fans that showed up with the announcement that they would play their entire new album, Happy Endings, from top to bottom.
They kicked off the jam-packed set with the album’s first single, “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” which everyone clearly knew already, seeing as they were singing the lyrics right back to the band on stage. The group’s kitschy songwriting style is displayed full force on a track called “Shoe Shopping,” which was inspired by an actual shopping trip Matthew Ramsey took with his significant other and, being the clever man he is, jotted down the idea in the midst of the designer brands and energetic shoppers, creating the tagline “If you’re shoe shopping, try me on for size.”
While each song is just as catchy and clever as the next, the most notable tracks include “Be With Me,” which is bound to be a guaranteed sing-along, as well as “So You Go” and “New York at Night.” “This is a band of buddies, we’re all very respectful of each other’s talents,” Ramsey stated before paving the way for a strong performance by his bandmate Brad Tursi, who takes the lead on “New York at Night,” a song that certainly shows off his vocal talent. But perhaps the most serious song on the record comes in the form of “So You Go,” co-written by the late Andrew Dorff. The passion in both the lyrics and the band’s delivery is apparent as they sing about wanting to fix what went wrong in a relationship.
A true stand out of the night came with the album’s last track “Can’t Get You.” The guys explained how they tried recording it twice in the studio and it “sucked” both times, but fans went crazy when they would play it live. That prompted them to follow the muse and include the live version on the album. “The only explanation is that the energy from the crowd makes the song happen,” Ramsey says before diving into the edgy track that’s heavy with electric guitar and tons of energy to match. It sounds different than anything else on the album, and proved Ramsey’s point as the crowd was rocking out right along with them to the vivacious track.
But the Blue Bar isn’t just any old dive bar for the group, who were entirely intentional with their location choice, revealing how they used to play at the venue every Wednesday night before they made it big, performing for crowds much smaller than the one they had gathered that night. But what makes it particularly special is that on that very stage is where they named themselves Old Dominion, bringing their journey full circle in a sense.
And the night couldn’t end without throwing in a few of their beloved hits and they delivered with “Snapback,” “Song For Another Time” and “Break Up With Him,” the latter of which found the audience nearly drowning out the band as they sang every word as loudly as they could.
Based on what we saw at the Blue Bar, one thing is for certain: Old Dominion is just as witty as ever, but with a dose of seriousness added in. Happy Endings features all of the eclectic word play, earworm beats and free spirit that fans love about the band’s music, but shows off a slightly deeper side than what’s displayed on Meat and Candy. If the Nashville show was any indication of the album’s success, then Old Dominion is sure to have another hit on their hands. Happy Endings indeed.