Caamp shines during their first hometown arena performance< < Back to
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOUB) — Caamp gave a shining performance at Nationwide Arena (200 West Nationwide Blvd.) Friday, October 21.
The performance took place just a little over an hour’s drive from Athens, OH, where band members Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall were studying at Ohio University not so long ago. For those who may not know, the band’s name is an acronym. An acronym for “Consuming Abnormal Amounts of Makers and PBR,” which makes sense for a band with such a laid back, folksy, beers-by-the-fire feel.
The show offered two stellar openers, Trampled by Turtles (TBT) and Parker Louis. Caamp came onstage to contribute to TBT’s closing number, “Alone,” off the group’s 2012 “Stars and Satellites” album (Banjodad Records). Louis, a Cleveland native, rocked out with Meier later on, jamming out to an improvised version of Caamp’s song, “Moonsmoke,” from the band’s 2019 album “By and By” (Mom + Pop Music).
When Caamp came onstage, Meier’s raspy vocals echoing out in an arena for the first time was an emotional moment. Enraptured fans all cheered the second he opened his mouth, feeling the weight he was putting behind each word.
Caamp started off with a video of some snippets of past shows with the full band, as well as more home-video style shots with founding members Westfall and Meier. One featured video showed them a few years ago, casually sitting on a little couch in a living room just strumming their guitars — a surreal sight to see in the midst of an arena performance.
This is my third time seeing these familiar faces on a stage. It’s a wild feeling seeing how far they’ve come. Just one year ago they were playing at the modestly sized Columbus outdoor venue KEMBA Live! (405 Neil Avenue), opening for The Lumineers this past summer, and now they’ve graduated to headlining Nationwide Arena.
It seems the band feels similarly. “I’m pretty good with words, and I just don’t know what to say besides thank you,” Meier said at a pause in between songs.
“By and By” was dedicated to Susie Taylor, Meier’s late grandma on his mother’s side who passed away just a few days before the concert. Later on, he dedicated the concert in its entirety to his grandmother, as well as the beautiful city of Columbus, and all of us for being there with him and the rest of the band.
Caamp dedicated a rendition of “Ohio,” from their 2016 self-titled album, especially to the audience.
The show concluded with a heartfelt and special moment between Westfall and Meier.
”To my right, he’s always been on my right, and he’ll always be on my right…is Evan Westfall” was Meier’s dedication to his lifetime friend. These bits of emotion, jokes and stories thrown in throughout the concert were treasured bits of authenticity that reminded the group’s accumulated fans why they fell in love with Caamp in the first place.