Monday, March 22, 2010
Saturday night was another show from the good ole boys from Old Union at Mercy Lounge. This venue is perfect for this band, big enough to move around but small enough to keep the home town intimacy that we all love about these shows. The sound was pretty good and the atmosphere was lively and fresh as it should be on the first day of spring.
The opening band was The Last Straw. They drew a large crowd and although they played their songs well and everyone seemed to love it, I couldn't get into them. To me they sounded like some Old Union fans that said to themselves, "We could do that". They had the same instrument lineup and their sound was similar, maybe with a little more of a Black Crowes flavor. I listened to the first few songs but found myself out on the deck with friends for most of their set.
Old Union got their freight train set started with "Long Haul" and didn't stop raging for the rest of the night. After a few originals they graced us with an AC/DC cover block worthy of the Rock's 2 for Tuesday featuring "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" and "Back In Black". The guitars made these songs feel huge and Chuck's raspy voice made these versions about the best I have ever heard. They also covered the Beatles' "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window", putting their own southern style and swing into an already great song. Without a set break, the show seemed a little short when they ended with "Sweet Freedom". The set might have seemed short but the guitar solo from Spotty in the closer was long and juicy as he sent the loyal crowd into a final frenzy. The demand for an encore netted us an O.U. favorite, J.J. Cale's "Ride Me High".
These guys have definitely found their niche in Nashville and their fans still adore them. You can always count on a good time at an Old Union show and as good as the time is, it usually seems like the band themselves are having the biggest blast of all. Even a deaf person could get off on watching Johnny Z play a solo, and Helen Keller could enjoy a solo from this rhythm section. Good job boys.