For the second time in 10 days, Old Dominion played for a packed audience at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Once again, it wasn't all about them.

Rockford's New Country Q98.5  logo
Get our free mobile app

The perennial Vocal Group of the Year winners wrapped the No Bad Vibes Tour at home in front of fans, friends, fellow songwriters and the music industry. Show No. 80 was well-oiled but spontaneous. Matthew Ramsey and company don't really need to prove anything, but they showed they're serious country music headliners with a 23-song set (plus interludes) that relied on a catalog of hits and fan favorites.

  • Old Dominion have won the last six CMA Vocal Group of the Year awards.
  • On Friday, they were presented with a Spotify billionaire plaque for the song "One Man Band."
  • Kylie Morgan, Priscilla Block and Chase Rice opened Friday night's show.

As a frontman, Ramsey fills the stage but makes room for his bandmates to shine. Guitarist Brad Tursi stands out. Old Dominion isn't known for their musicianship in the same way a group like the Zac Brown Band is, but there's no denying the talent and preparation. Tursi pulled several exciting solos, including a lengthy vamp before "Can't Get You" that was reminiscent of something Keith Urban has played on that stage.

Related: Year In Review — Country Music's Top 23 News Stories of 2023

The moment provided a second peak before they slid into the final main set selections, a cover of Kenny Chesney's "Save It for a Rainy Day" and the plaintive "My Heart Needs a Bar."

Again and again, Ramsey shared how much the night meant to him and his bandmates (including Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung and Whit Sellers). Friday (Dec. 15) marked the end of the tour, but it felt like the end of something bigger. "Make It Sweet" and "No Hard Feelings" opened the show, and they stayed true to the set list they've brought to tour stops all summer and fall.

A pair of fan requests ("Different About You" and "Wrong Turns") began a climb to the concert's pinnacle. "Snapback" is a great live song that still hits in 2023. "Hotel Key" finds fans literally tossing their keys at Ramsey, and "Memory Lane" is a Top 3 Old D hit.

Depth and lyrical integrity are what separate Old Dominion from the peers, and that made the prospect of them playing large venues like this a curious thing. They don't have a true anthem — the best Old Dominion songs are catchy, but also contemplative — but Ramsey and company showed that "mellow" and "high energy" aren't necessarily antonyms.

One more worthy note about this concert is that the band decided to donate $1 from each ticket to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Relief Fund after last weekend's tornadoes. The venue and management matched that to help raise more than $40,000 for the cause.

This marks the second time this month the band was part of something much bigger than a concert. On Dec. 5, they joined Urban and company for the All for the Hall concert at Bridgestone, a fundraiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame education programs.

Old Dominion Set List, Dec. 15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville:

1. “Make It Sweet”
2. “No Hard Feelings”
3. “Never Be Sorry”
4. “Break Up With Him”
5. “Midnight Mess Around”
6. “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart”
7. “I Should Have Married You”
8. “Written in the Sand”
9. “Different About You” (fan request)
10. “Wrong Turns” (fan request)
11. “Snapback”
12. “Hotel Key”
13. “Memory Lane”
14. “One Man Band”
15. “Song for Another Time”
16. “Can’t Break Up Now” (Featuring Megan Moroney)
17. “Still Writing Songs About You”
18. “Can’t Get You”
19. “Save It for a Rainy Day”
20. “My Heart Is a Bar”

21. “Hawaii”
22. “How Good Is That”
23. “I Was on a Boat That Day”

The Top 40 Country Songs of 2023, Ranked

The best country songs of 2023 fit snugly over your life and experiences. Each is written from personal experiences, but somehow, translate as if they were custom to each of us.

We've loved, we've longed, we've lost and we've cut loose in the country.

Airplay charts, sales data and streaming numbers helped make this list of country music's Top 40 songs of 2023, but staff and Taste of Country reader opinion were most influential. Songs included on previous Top Country Songs lists were not eligible. A song may have been released in 2022, but it had to have the majority of recorded airplay or impact this year to count.

Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5