On October 26, Old Crow Medicine Show played their first drive-in show at Ameris Bank Amphitheater in Alpharetta, Georgia. It wasn’t just their first drive in show, though. It was their time on stage in front of an audience since Covid-19 rocked our world (in a bad way). It’s been a rough seven months for everyone, but performers must perform, and the band’s excitement and energy was palpable.
Ameris Bank Amphitheater gets credit for brilliantly putting together a safe show during pandemic times. a masked employee greeted vehicles as they arrived, clearly explained the rules, and left a trash bag to fill during the show (left behind for the venue to gather after.)
Merch and food/beverages were delivered within minutes of placing an order via golf cart. Concert-goers had their car space and the space to its left – room for chairs, a table, a cooler, or a blanket. You wanna dance? Dance in your space! You wanna sing? Sing to your heart’s content – no one was nearby.
The sound and lighting quality of the show were amazing. Old Crow frontman Ketch Secor made it feel like he was performing a private show just for you, and having a damn good time while doing it. His banter was relevant and funny and humble.
Molly Tuttle joined the band for the entire set. She is an amazing guitar picker with the voice of an angel. Tuttle sang a cover of “Been All Around the World” — a song that was near and dear to her because her father used to sing it to her when she was a child. She also led the way for a cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Helpless” – a song, she explained, the band recorded remotely during the beginning of the pandemic, with proceeds supporting Rapid Response Fund to ease food insecurities.
OCMS pulled out some favorites, of course. Songs like “Sweet Amarillo,” “Alabama High Test,” “Take ‘Em Away,” and the always-popluar “Wagon Wheel” were extra special. The band also gave a shout out to Clayton County, GA before sliding into “Methamphetamine;” anyone from the metro Atlanta area and above would understand the reference.
A particularly poignant moment was hearing “I Hear Them All” with an interlude of “This Land is Your Land,” all while the stage lights shone red, white, and blue.
A last great homage, this time to the city they performed near, was their final encore song – a cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.”
Old Crow Medicine Show concerts have a reputation for being a fun show, and even in Covid-19 times, the band did not disappoint.