2023.09.22 - Old Crow Medicine Show - XPoNential Music Festival 2023

The XPoNential Music Festival experience is a little different since it was moved from the dog days of July to the first hints of fall. Gone are the days of temperatures reaching into the triple digits, and in are the nights of sweaters and blankets. But it didn’t feel like it when Old Crow Medicine Show took the stage on Friday night. This is a band that brings the sweltering heat of summer wherever they go, rolling over dusty fields on their rickety, sun-baked wagon wheels to arrive on the banks of the Delaware river equipped with their old-timey Americana and bluegrass stylings.

It was appropriate, I think, to have Old Crow Medicine Show close out the first night of XPoNential Music Festival’s 30th year. They are a band who could have commanded the stage in any of those 30 years, the kind of timeless group of musicians that draw from a deep well of history to achieve their raucous sound. Featuring a stand-up bass, accordion, banjo, upright piano and multiple fiddles, theirs is a sound steeped in history. Appropriately, they called on a whole host of ghosts during their set, putting their bluegrass spin on songs from recently deceased icons Jimmy Buffet (“Margaritaville”), Tina Turner (“Proud Mary”), and Robbie Robertson (“The Weight”), the latter a high point of the performance which saw Margo Price return to the stage to sing with the band. They also reached deep into their own vast catalog, playing songs like “Alabama High Test,” “Take Em Away,” and, from their newest record Jubilee, “One Drop” and “Wolfman of the Ozarks.”

No matter what they decided to play, though, they brought their characteristic flair to the proceedings. From frontman Ketch Secor on down the line, Old Crow Medicine Show are a band of showmen who know how to throw and good ole fashioned hootenanny, chalk full of clever bits, choreographed stagecraft, dance contests and hat changes. They also knew how to do some grade-A pandering, shouting out New Jersey and Philadelphia with plenty of well-researched specifics. Save one moment when Secor mentioned the New York Mets (which earned its fair share of boos), he had the audience eating out of his hand and more than ready to join him and his band in one hell of a good time. When it was finally time to come to the band’s eternal showstopper “Wagon Wheel,” the whole of Wiggins Park was rockin along with Old Crow Medicine Show.

Old Crow Medicine Show
XPoNential Music Festival
  • Tell It To Me
  • Alabama High Test
  • The Weight (ft. Margo Price)
  • Cockfight / Proud Mary / Carry Me Back
  • I Want It Now / Great Balls Of Fire
  • Take Em Away
  • Caroline
  • Jersey Gals / 8 Dogs
  • Miles Away
  • Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailers
  • Wolfman Of The Ozarks
  • Margaritaville
  • One Drop
  • Keel Over & Die / Tear It Down
  • Wagon Wheel
  • I Saw The Light