Good Old War Charms their Zankel Audience

Posted by Sara Gagnon

On Friday, Sept. 21st folk trio Good Old War performed at Zankel Music Center. The concert was held in Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall and was put together by Student Entertainment Committee (SEC).

Good Old War's set was largely acoustic-driven, accentuating their signature harmonies and lively personalities. True fans and first time listeners alike were up dancing and clapping by the fourth song, joining in on Goodwin's expressive and totally appropriate dance moves. Overall the group was hilarious, from Goodwin referring to Arnold as "drummer boy" to numerous honest and self-deprecating comments and stories between numbers.

Good Old War played a variety of songs, including new favorites like "Amazing Eyes" and "Calling Me Names" off their latest album, Come Back As Rain, which was released last March. They also played older hits like "Coney Island" from their 2008 debut album Only Way to Be Alone and "My Own Sinking Ship" from their 2010 self-titled second album.

The best sing-along of the night, however, was their unexpected and energetic rendition of "The Banana Boat Song," made popular by singer Harry Belafonte. Drummer Tim Arnold began the song a cappella, and the crowd followed and belted as the three split into harmonies. It was obvious how genuinely excited they were to have the crowd join in.

Another surprise was their five-song encore, which they unabashedly acknowledged before playing their final number. The typically anticipated one-song-that-everyone-knows reprise became a total jam fest, featuring an impressive scat guitar solo by Arnold. Equally crowd-pleasing was Schwartz's electric guitar solo, which he played while holding his acoustic underneath.

Perhaps the most the most adorable highlight was Goodwin's introduction to "We've Come A Long Way." Barring a roomful of swaying audience members during "Amazing Eyes," Goodwin explained he had written the song for his wife, whom he met at age twelve, garnering unified "awws" from the audience. He responded flippantly, "Yeah, a lot of shit has happened since sixth grade," earning an even greater round of laughter.

 All in all, Good Old War's personalities really shined through the entire performance. Their energy was exceptional, and the bond between them was evident, even if they hadn't talked about high school memories and poked fun at each other throughout the show.

Vocally and instrumentally, Good Old War really showcased their musical abilities. Their sound was incredible, and the music hall lent itself well to their beautifully blended harmonies and acoustic instrumentation. Good Old War has great chemistry onstage and a true appreciation for their fans. There's nothing better than seeing people do what they love and also do it extremely well. They're one of those bands that one just has to see live. At least go to Spotify or YouTube and check them out. Regardless of the type of music you're into, if you like to feel good while listening to good music, it'll be worth your time.

Good Old War is currently touring the United States and Canada until February. 

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