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No Rain For Old Crow Medicine Show

article & photography by Erika Colbertaldo

A light drizzle welcomes Milk Carton Kids to Waterfront Park’s temporary stage. Fans file in, decked in rain boots and hooded jackets, prepared for worse weather. With a bit of comedy and great music, this unique duo warms up the crowd for the rest of the show. (Their calming performance also ensures them some ticket sales to their upcoming show at nearby Higher Ground).

As Milk Carton Kids leave the stage and the roadies begin to set up for The Lumineers, the rain has come to a stop and only a few ominous clouds threaten the dryness of the audience.

From the crowd’s reaction to the band entering the stage, they could be mistaken for the show’s headliners. Their folky tunes and memorable lyrics have everyone singing along. As their set begins to come to an end, Old Crow’s frontman Ketch Secor makes an appearance outfitted in classic Wayfarer sunglasses and a white jumpsuit. He joins into The Lumineers’ “I Ain’t Nobody’s Problem”, with his fiddle and harmonica to the crowd’s ecstatic reaction.

Finally, the show is all OCMS’s, and the group of six plays their bluegrass tunes to their clearly loyal and hardcore fans. Ketch refers to Vermont as the “greatest part of New England,” which results in screams from the crowd. Right before playing “Caroline”, Ketch continues his praise of the state with his opinion that anywhere with a green license plate is a good place to be.

Old Crow Medicine Show

The concert continues with a few favorites: “Party of the Century” and “Bootlegger’s Boy”, which Ketch points out is a great whiskey drinking song for all the Vermont hillbillies in the audience.

Throughout the show, each member gets a turn to shine as they take over the microphone and the attention as instruments get switched around every few songs, showing the true range of talent showcased by this band. Chance McCoy even goes for a new sound as he holds the microphone to his feet and stomps along.

As their set starts to come to an end, Ketch introduces each member as the each sing a verse of “Cocaine Habit Blues” and the group surrounds the spotlighted artist. Old Crow Medicine Show leaves the stage to howls of their fans and a few minutes later emerge back on to the stage.

As an added bonus, both The Lumineers and The Milk Carton Kids join the headliners onto the stage for the encore. The crowd goes wild. The bands throw their arms around each other and thank Burlington for such an incredible show, as if it were all for the audience, and not the group of musicians. The rain held off, but the music was an ecstatic downpour.


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