After a two-week spring break, Old Dominion’s Make It Sweet Tour resumed in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Alliant Energy Center on March 28. Lead singer Matthew Ramsey was excited to return to the stage, given it was his first time back on “two feet” following his recent leg surgery. He took every opportunity to use the full stage and lengthy catwalk to interact with fans. Here are the top five reasons to catch Old Dominion this summer (Tickets).
1. Stellar songwriting
These guys have serious writing chops. Halfway through the set the primary songwriting trio of Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi unplugged and moved to the end of the catwalk. Sitting on stools with their acoustic guitars, they took turns highlighting hit singles they’ve written for other artists, while “finally proving ourselves to the Nashville gatekeepers.” During this 12-minute, stripped-down portion of the show they solidified that statement with samples of those country radio hits, including "Wake Up Loving You" (Craig Morgan), "Better Dig Two" (The Band Perry), "A Guy Walks Into a Bar" (Tyler Farr), "Say You Do" (Dierks Bentley) among others. Following that brief Old Dominion history lesson, Ramsey summarized it as “A really convoluted way to say thank you, you were listening to our music before you even knew it.”
2. Vocal harmonies
Although the band had initially formed in order to showcase songs that each member had respectively written, current fans should feel lucky they didn’t just stick to their day jobs. Their crisp vocal harmonies filled the arena, inducing simultaneous chills and goosebumps, particularly during their performance of "Not Everything’s About You.” Its a cappella intro was a strong reinforcement of Old Dominion's vocal strength. The love song "One Man Band" is clearly an ode to what they have built as a band—they are anything but a one-man show.
3. Hit songs and sing-alongs
Though they initially formed in 2007, Old Dominion didn’t really make their mark as a band until 2015 with Break Up With Him and the hits have continued to flow. On more than one occasion during the evening the band allowed their fans to command the vocals. "Hotel Key," "No Such Thing As A Broken Heart,” "Written in the Sand" and latest single "Make It Sweet" were just some of the sing-alongs that broke out during the night, usually accompanied with some dancing.
4. Intimate feel
There’s something special about an artist that can bring a full-production tour into a large venue and still make it feel intimate. There was a true connection felt between the stage and the furthest reaches of the arena, as each member maneuvered the catwalk, shook hands with fans, and gratefully interacted with their audience. It didn't hurt that they also included an additional song, stating “we got a request for this one,” before they launched into "Shoe Shopping.”
5. Support Acts
They did it right by enlisting a pair of up-and-coming hit-makers into the lineup. The crowd welcomed show opener Mitchell Tenpenny and Jordan Davis with open arms. Tenpenny enjoyed the enthusiastic response to his breakout hit “Drunk Me” as well as "Alcohol You Later.” Davis earned additional fanfare when he gave a nod to the 2019 NCAA National Champion Women’s Hockey team by sporting a Women’s Badger Hockey jersey during “Singles You Up.” Catch Old Dominion, and friends, on tour this summer (Tickets