The Wood Brothers Play Rock the Ruins at Holliday Park

The Wood Brothers | Rock the Ruins at Holliday Park | Indianapolis, IN. | 8.21.2021 | Photos by: ©Pix Meyers
The Wood Brothers | Rock the Ruins at Holliday Park | Indianapolis, IN. | 8.21.2021 | Photos by: ©Pix Meyers

Indianapolis, IN. – The dog days of summer had settled in over Indianapolis for a hot and balmy Saturday evening, but that did not stop music fans of all ages from grabbing their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy an intimate show in the park. Rock the Ruins at Holliday Park is a collaboration between the Vogue Theatre and Holliday Park to create a summer concert series, both outdoors and with social distancing. The park is nestled in a wooded suburb just west of the Broad Ripple neighborhood and the concert series brings in local food and beverage vendors, along with live music to this Northside community. Proceeds from the series help support the 95 year old park through the Holliday Park Foundation!

Tonight’s Rock the Ruins show brought to the stage an evening with brothers, Oliver Wood (guitar, vocals) and Chris Wood (bass, harmonica, vocals), along with multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix (drums, keyboards, shuitar, vocals) – collectively known as The Wood Brothers. Always a fan favorite in this area, it didn’t take long for the lawn pods* to start filling up across the park the closer it got to showtime. The park provided a nice back drop for the evening event, being The Wood Brothers are known for playing off the acoustics in a venue and going back to that “old-style performance”, where the band and performers gathered around one microphone and played to the audience. There was no opening act for this performance; just an intimate night of music with the community (and the cicadas). 

As the band made their way to the stage, you could hear the crowd start to gather and cheer as Oliver, Chris and Jano began a 90 minute set that would take the crowd on a journey through several albums in their catalog, while still focusing on their most current release, Kingdom in my Mind. Songs from the new album included “Alabaster”, “Satisfied” and “A Little Bit Broken” (which also happens to be the name of the tour) while tunes like “One More Day”, “Happiness Jones”,”Honey Jar” and one of my personal favorites, “Sing About It” brought the crowd to their feet; dancing and singing along. 

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Talking to the crowd and telling stories, if you were not familiar with The Wood Brothers, you would discover quickly why they are such a fan favorite. Bringing a mixture of Bluegrass, Americana, and Folk with a little Blues, Gospel and Jazz mixed in, the band appears down to earth and as familiar as the neighbor next door. Case in point, local musician and event organizer Greg Ziesemer had made a

Jack Z and Oliver Wood - Photos courtesy of the Ziesemer Family
Jack Z and Oliver Wood – Photos courtesy of the Ziesemer Family

previous connection with The Wood Brothers several years ago in 2015 when they were the headliners at the RiverRoots Festival in Madison, IN that Greg was in charge of.  At that gig, Greg’s son Jack (then 6 years old and a budding musician) was introduced to Oliver backstage and got to strum Oliver’s vintage 1966 Guild T-100 guitar. Fast forward to tonight with Greg, wife Kriss and son Jack in attendance, leading to a brief reunion after the show and an autograph for Jack on the back of their photo – this speaks to why the fan loyalty is so strong for this act. (More about Jack Z at a future date) 

This was their second to last performance of the summer tour, but don’t fret! The band is only taking a few weeks off before getting back on the road with their fall/winter tour mid September 2021. You can check here for scheduled dates as this is always a must see show.  

(*Lawn Pods are an area marked out in the lawn to sit 4 people on a blanket or with lawn chairs. The “pods” are spaced to assist the crowd with social distancing during the performances at Rock the Ruins.)

Show Date: 8/21/21