Old Crow Medicine Show With Dom Flemons At The Rococo Theatre, Lincoln, Nebraska
“Now, this ain’t no hat exchange. You keep your hat and I’ll keep mine and that way everyone will be happy.” An enthusiastic audience member offered to trade his hat for Dom’s signature vintage hat but Dom wasn’t having any of that. The American Songster needs to look the part.
Dom Flemon’s Trio opened the Old Crow Medicine Show in Lincoln on a beautiful August evening and it was packed. Dom and his fellow bandmates were amazing and versatile musicians. Dom is the consummate showman and has a way of bringing past tunes and styles into the present. His rendition of Hot Chicken brought the house down. And my wife, Polly, was delighted with Dom’s rendition of “Polly Put The Kettle On.”
The only downside was the noise of the venue which, though a very beautiful old vaudeville theater with good views from all seating, echoed noise from the crowd and the bar area. The opening act rarely has the sound system that the main act has and like many crowds, a few people weren’t as polite to them as they should have been. Sometimes, I wish they would put themselves in artist’s shoes. How would they feel up there?
At any rate, we were thrilled with them and during the intermission we were able to meet Brian Farrow, bass player, as well as violin and mandolin. Turns out he’s from Omaha.
Then Old Crow Medicine Show came on stage and the audience went wild. Those fellers know how to put on a show and work the crowd! They commanded the stage, switching singers and instruments and dancing around during solos. Even the bass player would lug his instrument around to a different part of the stage during an instrumental.
Plenty of homage was paid to the cornhusker state. One band member pointed out that another wore shoes and pants for the show. “Well,” he replied, “I had to dress up. This ain’t Kansas!” They scored points there. “Caroline” was introduced as a song about a 14 year old girl from the Nebraska Sandhills – Chadron, to be exact – where Ketch Secor had some dental work done. I can only imagine they were on their way to the Black Hills and Secor needed emergency work since Chadron isn’t the sort of place most folks would usually choose to go for dental work.
My wife and I were especially impressed at how many instruments each member could play. Each seemed to be able to play several. Our favorite moments were when they played “8 Dogs 8 Banjos” and when Dom Flemons joined them onstage for “This Land Is Your Land”.
Finally, they said they would close with an old spiritual. It turned out to be a blistering rendition of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In The Sky” with everyone on stage. The crowd loved it and sang along at the top of their lungs. All in all, it was an evening for the books. We will definitely be catching both these bands again.