The Old 97’s are halfway through their February bookings and have garnered some rave reviews so far. They played to a smaller but no less enthusiastic crowd for their second go-round in Fayetteville, Arkansas. One young lady was so enrapt, she was compelled to join Rhett and Murry on stage for Valentine. She may have even developed an appreciation for Jameson before she was gently escorted off.

rocking the Pageant

Moving on to St. Louis, MO our favorite quartet wowed the packed Pageant with a 27-song setlist. Here are a couple of glowing reviews from KDHX’s Meghan McGlynn

Riverfront Times’ Katie Moulton

and 3 Minute Record

Philip’s view of sound check at the Vic

Next up, Chicago’s Vic Theatre, coincidently spelled like The Grand Theatre. I guess the big question is whether Chi-townies pronounce it The-A-ter as well. One fan, Paul LeTour (his real name or clever moniker? Anyone’s guess. His love of the band is all that matters, right.) logged this report:

Having sailed through three cities, Mother Nature decided things were running too smoothly. It was time to kick it up a notch with a good, old fashioned blizzard. After all, it is February in Minneapolis. When the tour bus made it safely to the hotel, there was only about four inches of snow on the ground.

By show time, it was a full-on winter wonderland that would have had Alaska beaming with pride, making the journey to and from treacherous. Just ask Those Darlins. They did a 180 in the snow-covered street whilst en route to the First Avenue club. With the assistance of a trucker, they managed to take the stage about 30 minutes late. Not bad for a Southern band battling an unrelenting Northern winer blast.

First Avenue Road Warriors

According to Philip, the venue had 100+ no-shows, but the 500 brave (or is it foolhardy) wreckers who thumbed their collective noses at the elements made up for the missing patrons with tremendous enthusiasm. In return they were rewarded with a performance worthy of the white-knuckle trek. You Minnesotans are a hearty lot indeed.

TC Daily Planet’s, Jay Gabler

Timmy the Freak’s-first-avenue-mainroom/

After playing in Kentucky last night, the bus is rolling south through the Carolina’s, Georgia and finally Florida, so chances are high they’ll finally hit some much appreciated sunshine to take the chill off their Texas bones.

We’ll keep you posted with links to reviews and such here. Those of you lucky enough to take in a show or three during this leg, don’t forget to log into the forum to share your thoughts, photos, videos, setlists, drunken tales with the rest of us stuck in our living rooms.

Setlist photo courtesy of Timmy the Freak; Pageant photo courtesy of Jon Gitchoff; The Vic courtesy of Philip Peebles; First Avenue photo courtesy of Timmy the Freak