With little help from the rowdy, very typical Myrtle Beach crowd, Old Crow Medicine Show stormed the stage Sunday night at the House of Blues.
The band had just played the day before at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Mancheseter, Tenn. and energy was still high from the massive festival.
From song one, fiddler/harmonica player/singer Ketch Secor had an energy unlike any player in any string band I've ever seen. Donning an Austin City Limits t-shirt and a blue bandana, Ketch played the fiddle like it was the last time he'd ever get to play. His body moved and felt every note he played.
Old Crow played their first 45-minute set highlighted by the crowd favorite "Wagon Wheel" from the band's debut album, O.C.M.S. After a short break, the band came back with songs including "Tell It To Me," "Down Home Girl" and "Bobcat Tracks."
Even with a lengthy setlist including songs from both of the band's officially released albums, the highlight of the evening was the one-song encore. The band took the stage and played the classic Bob Dylan tune "Lay Lady Lay," from the 1969 album Nashville Skyline. It was an unique cover complete with bluegrass harmonies.
Old Crow Medicine Shows is definitely a band you don't want to miss. The band will play at An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone on July 20.
Now, the negative. The House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach has to be one of the worst venues in the Carolinas. First, why does a $17.50 cost $22.00 when you buy it at the venue? House of Blues charges not only a service charge at their own box office, but they also charge a venue/facility charge. Maybe Ticketmaster is partly to blame, but the venue chooses to charge a facility charge.
Next, having been to the House of Blues many times in my life, I'm finally ready to say that House of Blues audiences are the rudest around. Maybe I'm spoiled by North Carolina's respect for bluegrass music, but the Myrtle Beach crowds don't ever show respect for acoustic music. I've seen both Nickel Creek and now Old Crow Medicine Show at the venue and both shows were practically drowned out by crowd chatter. It's really ridiculous.
I guess you really can't expect much from a venue stuck in the middle of the tourist-trap nightmare that is Myrtle Beach. It's the only venue I can remember going to that wasn't 10,000 capacity and up, yet uses metal detectors at entry. I'm sure the reason for that ties in with the rude crowds the venue draws.
With the unreasonable ticket fees and generally bad concert experiences to be had at the House of Blues, I won't be returning. I'd much rather drive to a more respectable venue that's a little further away than be ripped off then disappointed by another show at the House of Blues.