As the sun began to set over the 16th hole of the Waste Management Open, thousands of fans in cowboy hats, flannels, and boots congregated in the coliseum with wide eyes on the stage between the green and the tee box. With no shortage of excitement, the first band to take the stage was none other than Old Dominion.
The quintet is comprised of Matthew Ramsey on lead vocals, Trevor Rosen on guitar/keyboards, Brad Tursi on guitar, Whit Sellers on drums, and Geoff Sprung playing bass guitar. The group brought the energy of Nashville to the desert of Scottsdale, Arizona. It was quickly apparent that Old Dominion is a unique group in the sense that they are the epitome of a songwriter’s band, emphasizing the content and messages of their music above showmanship.
The group provided contagious energy, glittery guitar, and sweet harmony. Starting us off with Wrong Turns, the group quickly created a personal dialogue with the audience regarding how covid altered the music industry and discussed how grateful they are to be back on the road again. With features of songs old, such as ‘One Man Band’, and new, such as ‘No Hard Feelings’, all spectators had something to sing along to.
With such a strong start, the crowd was eager and ready for Thomas Rhett to take the stage. With a plethora of poppy hooks, brawny riffs, and classic country, the Phoenix Open was transported to the ambiance of a bonfire that you can only get to through a country backroad.
These twangy tales consisted of tracks such as ‘Look What God Gave Her’, ‘Life Changes’, and ‘Marry Me.’ The songs were complemented with stories of life and personal notes that connected the audience with Rhett, giving the production a unique and memorable touch. However, Rhett shined the most when he mentioned his loved ones, including his four daughters and wife.
The show included fluttery personal notes and the music contained an abundance of perfectly fitting blurred lines when it came to the country genre. The synthetic sounds of pop, disco-lite signifiers, and classic country beat somehow fit together beautifully, as he operated in all of these modes, seamlessly. The coliseum was a community with voices from all sides singing along to every word. Needless to say, the warmth of that old country road overtook all that were present.