I went to an Old 97's show this week! The last time I saw the full band was at Festa Italiana in Chicago back in 2007, so I was overdue.
The evening began with solo sets from Murry Hammond and Rhett Miller. Having seen Rhett solo many times in the past, I was very glad to see him again, but more novel for me was the chance to see Murry. I'm not the biggest fan of his solo material, but I enjoyed the set, which included a Julie Miller cover and a spoken word piece of Murry's own. His performance of "Valentine" was one of my favorite songs of the night. "Of all the many ways a man will break his heart / well there ain't none meaner than he pulls his own apart." Ahhhh.
The 97's blazed through a set of noisy, energetic songs, as befitted the rather boisterous crowd. A fight broke out on the floor in the midst of the show, but luckily Rob was nearby and kept things from getting utterly out of hand. I hadn't seen the band since Blame it On Gravity came out, and was once again reminded that I should buy that album. I've enjoyed what I've heard for some time now, and I'm not used to not knowing every song by heart. The show ended with a one-two punch of Four Leaf Clover and Time Bomb. I always know what I'm going to get from an Old 97's show: good, solid fun. They deliver.