If you haven’t listened to this song yet by Old Dominion, you definitely need to check it out. And if you don’t know who Old Dominion is, stop reading this blog right now and go listen to their brand new album, Meat and Candy, right now. Go! Stop reading and go listen to it, you don’t know what you’re missing!
But if you’re still reading, AND you’re an Old Dominion fan, I hope you read that heading like you were singing that wonderful song. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of Old Dominion and their music. I was a fan of their music the very first time I heard their song ‘Shut Me Up’ and their career launching ‘Break Up With Him’ on the radio. I even got their album Meat and Candy when it was released on CD so I could listen to it in my car. This band has an amazing sound hands down that is laid-back, fun, and catchy. Old Dominion is a band of 5 guys who play together and are song writers as well for top acts including Kenny Chesney. Which then makes a lot of sense why they are out on the road with Kenny for his Spread The Love tour (more about that in a later entry). I absolutely love the sound that Old Dominion has, and when I realized I was going to get a chance to hear them play live in Philadephia, I was even more excited. It’s a lot harder to see up and coming country acts where I live since it seems the Jersey-Philly-Delaware area isn’t so big on country music. Now, imagine my excitement when the wonderful local radio station, 92.5XTU was able to get me meet and greets before the show. I’ve never been to a meet and greet with them before before, and this was one of my favorite bands so I couldn’t wait.
Which is why I have waited over a week to write this blog entry. Not because the excitement just couldn’t contain itself and I needed a week to get myself calm. But because of the complete let down I had at the meet and greet. Yes. I was extremely disappointed, and it pains me to say it, but as a music fan, I feel that it is SO incredibly important to keep your fans happy. Now, please read about my experience in its entirety before you think, oh she’s just a fan trying to get attention. Not in the slightest. But if anyone from OD’s team is reading this, please keep all of this in mind going forward with your meet and greets. As a new artist, building a fan base is extremely important. Appreciating the fans whom support you is important. Meet and Greets are important.
And now this is why I am disappointed. I specifically asked the radio station about how to get meet and greets for these guys. Not for Kenny Chesney or Miranda Lambert, but Old Dominion. The band that when I texted all my friends I got meet and greets for, most had to ask me what song they sang. But, this was a band I’ve been telling friends to check out for well over a year now, and that I have listened to and supported in their career. I got to the meet and greet spot where the coordinator took us downstairs to the room where we were doing the meet and greet. My friend and I were the second ones to meet the guys, and to be honest, it seemed like we were literally the second people they have ever done a meet and greet with in their life. We were told ahead of time that there were to be no autographs and to hand our phone to the manager (I believe that’s who it was) who would take our picture. So, when I got to the point where the guys were, they were hidden behind the backdrop for the photos. In my excitement I went to see where they were and we were both told by the guy (again, I’m assuming he’s the manager) we were only allowed to see the guys when it was our turn. Not even allowed to see the guys unless it’s your turn for the meet and greet. Literally, my meet and greet lasted maybe 60 seconds. My friend and I were told we could go around the screen, I walked up to the guys and shook all 5 of their hands because I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to do and they all were just standing there anyway with their hands in their pockets. Plus, the manager guy seemed so pushy about getting us through the meet and greet so there was that aspect of it. Matt did pull us in for a photo, but aside from me saying that I loved their music I got a minimal response from them of hi at least. They also say that body language is 90% of communication. We posed for our picture (Well some of us did. Trevor is just just kind of standing there), and then off we went. I was excitedly looking at the pictures afterwards when several people pointed out that some of them are barely even smiling. Maybe they were having a bad day, I don’t know. But what I do know is that shortly after this they were on stage performing. So they know how to put on a smile and perform on stage at least, maybe they just have to work on pretending to look excited backstage.
At first I thought that was how a meet and greet was supposed to go. You wait your turn behind the screen, you quickly snap a few photos with the band, and then you get whisked off for the next person to go. And then I did a meet and greet with Big and Rich (this will be the next entry). What a huge difference. Their meet and greet was an unexpected surprise I managed to snag but was so glad I did. You could tell they cared about their fans and while they had the same rule of no autographs or additional photos, they were not kept hidden behind a screen as each fan waited their turn. They engaged their fans and had a fun and relaxing atmosphere. It’s all about the tone you set with the audience. I really wish Old Dominion seemed just as excited to meet their fans as their fans were to meet them.
Matt, Trevor, Whit, Geoff, and Brad, I do love the music you guys make and the performance you did. But after that meet and greet, I was so incredibly disappointed as a fan. I want to believe it wasn’t you guys who created that vibe of a cold, going through the motions, meet and greet. I want to believe it was the manager who kept you guys hidden behind the screen like the great Wizard of Oz and gave us a first impression that this was all business and you guys just needed to get this part of the day over with. I really thought it was going to be a lot like the vibe I got from your music…fun, laid-back, and genuine.
Love and All Things Country