Old Crow Medicine Show

Old Crow Medicine Show • Molly Tuttle • June 20, 2024 • Sandy Amphitheater

Reviewed by: Kevin Rolfe

Photographed by: Alisha Gregson

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

It felt very fitting to be at an outdoor concert on the evening of the Summer Solstice.  But not just any outdoor concert. That alone would have been great.  But Old Crow Medicine show performing at the Sandy Amphitheater on the eve of a full Strawberry Moon on the Summer Solstice was an evening of perfection for an avid concertgoer like myself.  Old Crow Medicine Show returned to Utah just shy of a year since their last stop here in July 2023. The band would be celebrating 25 years of their album Jubilee.

This would be my third time seeing the boys and once again they did not disappoint.  I wondered if they ever played any indoor concerts.  I hope not.  They belong outdoors with the warm temps, and summer breezes, as the sun was setting. This was our first time back to Sandy Amphitheater this season. It’s one of our favorite venues to see a concert. There’s not a bad seat in the place and if you happen to be sitting higher up, you get the benefit of seeing one of those amazing Utah Sunsets.

Molly Tuttle

Leading up to the concert we were told that there would definitely be an opener, but the announcement was still a surprise.  Minutes before the concert was to begin, I received a text from the promoter telling me that the amazing Grammy Award winner, Molly Tuttle, would be the surprise opening performer.  I felt pretty cool getting the inside scoop.  I was able to look around to see everyone’s reaction when Molly was announced on stage.  Tuttle walked onto the stage with a warm and enthusiastic ovation from the audience.

We had the benefit of seeing Molly just a few weeks prior to this concert just up Interstate 15.  Molly Tuttle was the Saturday night headliner at the Ogden Music Festival.  We were able to see Molly perform with her full band and even duet with another great songwriter, Sarah Jarosz.  For this set, it would be just Molly and her guitar.  She filled up the stage with her sound.  She has an excellent voice and her guitar playing was beyond impressive.  

In a surprise twist, Molly was joined on stage by none other than Old Crow Medicine Show frontman, Ketch Secor.  I have only see a headliner join an opener a handful of times.  Each time it’s a big surprise.  It just happens so rarely.  The audience cheered as Ketch greeted everyone by waving his hat to the crowd.  Molly Tuttle and Ketch Secor performed a song off of  Molly’s 2024 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award Winning album City of Gold.  They performed “Yosemite” a song Tuttle dueted on the album with Dave Matthews.  Molly was the perfect opener.

Old Crow Medicine Show

Old Crow Medicine Show took the stage the only way they seem to know how.  With guns blazing!  Every time I see them live, the show starts as if it had been going for an hour.  They already seem in stride and playing at the highest of levels.  The seemed like they were in a great mood. The audience for sure was.  OCMS told us that they were making their Sandy debut.  I love how prepared these guys are.  Not only musically, but in the way that they talk about Utah.  They really seem to know their stuff.  They mentioned venues that they played long ago.  Places like the old since torn down, Zephyr Club or their first show randomly being in Price of all places really brought the audience into the show on a different level.

The concert was just so much fun.  The band is all over the stage, watching each other when they have a solo.  They mug to the audience even giving our photographer an exclusive pose or two.  Everything seems so genuine in the good times they’re producing.  Part of that fun is due to how well they play.  It would all be enjoyable due to the antics taking place on stage, but it’s the quality of play that makes this show the great night that it is.  To a member, Old Crow Medicine Show has some of the best players around.  Songs like, “Tell It To Me”, “Belle Mead Cockfight”, and “Carry Me Back to Virginia” are songs that set the stage for what was to be a great night.

Old Crow Medicine Show is a mix of great music and high comedy.  The boys are hilarious.  Ketch Secor joked that he had never heard of Sandy, Utah.  He thought it was just an adjective to describe Utah. He also made several jokes about the altitude.  I don’t know how they were able to move around so much with the altitude being what it is here.  They just kept going.  

One thing I love about this group is how much they mix things up.  Not only do they share the lead vocals, but they feature each member of the band in one way or another.  They also do a great job mixing up their songs in the set.  They do all of the fan-favorite OCMS songs, but they do so many covers.  The covers are so well arranged that they almost sound original.  Songs like “Proud Mary”, “16 Tons” or “Great Balls of Fire” are familiar songs, but Old Crow performs them with such originality. 

My personal favorite was “Almost Heaven”.  This time as the crowd sang the chorus, the band changed the words to say instead of Shenandoah River they said Joran River. Much to the delight of the crowd.  And instead of “West Virginia, Mountain Mamma” they sang, “Salt Lake City, Mountain Mamma”.  Do they switch this up every show?  If so that’s the personal touch that fans love

My personal favorites were “Almost Heaven” and “Honkey Tonk Woman”.  The John Denver classic was mixed into one of my Old Crow songs, “I Hear Them All”. As the crowd sang the chorus, the band changed the words to say instead of Shenandoah River they said Jordan River. Much to the delight of the crowd.  And instead “West Virginia, Mountain Mamma” they sang, “Salt Lake City, Mountain Mamma”.  Do they switch this up every show?  If so that’s the personal touch that fans love.  “Honkey Tonk Woman” felt like an Old Crow Medicine Show original.  The crowd especially loved Cory Younts’ Mick Jagger impression.  

Molly Tuttle returned to the stage at the end of the Old Crow Medicine Show’s set.  As Ketch Secor was introducing her, he praised Tuttle’s guitar playing and that he was excited to have her out playing guitar.  Molly then walked on stage with a banjo strapped to her.  “I didn’t know you played that”. The way they played this up was great comedy.  They went on to perform an awesome cover of the Stevie Nicks song featuring Tom Petty, “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”.  

If this show wasn’t exciting enough, in the middle of “Flicker & Shine” one of the roadies came center stage and just started whipping a baton around.  He was flinging that thing all over and into the air.  He was flawless.  I did not see that coming, but it was one of the biggest highlights of the night.  

Speaking of highlights, it cannot be said enough.  If you haven’t seen Old Crow Medicine Show perform “Wagon Wheel” live and in person, make sure you do.  It’s an incredible experience.  The way the crowd reacted to this song had to be so rewarding for the band.  I didn’t think OCMS could possibly rise to another level, but sure enough, they did.  They sounded so good and seemed to be still having a great time performing that great song.  I’d imagine it was cool to see Molly playing this song.  When the time came for the crowd to sing on their own they did not disappoint.  People were literally dancing in the aisles and singing the chorus as loud as they could.  It is easily one of the best songs to see and hear live.

Photo Credit: Alisha Gregson

Just when I thought the show was over, Old Crow Medicine Show did in fact return to the stage to perform “The Weight” by The Band.  People were singing along and waving their arms.  I didn’t really want the concert to end.  The moon was high in the sky, the temperature was perfect, and the band seemed in prime form.  The time had come for us to wrap things up.  When the lights came on all I saw were smiles throughout Sandy Amphitheater.  People had a great time.  I was one of them.  I will see Old Crow Medicine Show in concert every chance I get.  They are one of the best live bands touring today.

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