Two days after the release of TGTV2, the Old 97’s hit the road to continue this incredible touring streak that they’ve been on for the past year. They just give and they give and then give some more, and we insatiable fans are grateful for every fix. While they rest up for next month’s California run, here is a roundup of links, reviews, and more from the last leg.
The guys kicked things off at Summerfest in Milwaukee, where the new tunes were well-received, according to Piet Levy’s review on The Tap Milwaukee site. The band played some fan-favorites from past albums as well, including Satellite Rides’ Question which set the scene for another 97’s style proposal. Hooray for love, Wisco sweethearts!
The next day, Rhett stopped by Nashville’s Lightning 100, where he treated listeners to an acoustic performance or Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You), and Perfume. In between songs, Rhett describes the latest album as a return to a more “raw, garagey sound,” and shares the agony of creating a balanced setlist that will satisfy the crowd.
Katie Darby reviewed the second night in Nashville with high praise for opening acts, Robert Ellis and Those Darlin’s. As for the Old 97’s set, Katie writes, “I’m consistently blown away by how good their music feels live.” Right on. Long-time fans know what to expect when they go to a show, and yet, there is always a euphoric moment when the crowd connects with the band’s explosive energy. “The fact of the matter is that the Old 97′s are a band with two songwriters talented enough to be frontmen, one of the most frighteningly talented live guitarists I’ve ever seen, and a drummer who works like a machine.” For more well-written highlights from her Nashville experience, visit Katie’s blog.
After a day off, the Old 97’s were in my neck of the urban woods of Charm City. Marie, my old97s.com partner-in-crime, flew in from Pittsburgh to join me and my friend Dave for another incredible night of rock. One great thing about this community of fans is how incredibly cool you all are. There were a lot of friendly and familiar faces in the crowd. (If I ever meet you in person, ask me how friendly even unfamiliar faces can be at an Old 97’s show.)
Six days after the release, fans were singing along, or at least taken by the spirit of all of the new songs. From Volume Two, the band played, No Simple Machine, Brown Haired Daughter, Trainwreck, White Port, You Call It Rain, and Marquita/Bright Spark. I think Baltimore liked it, you guys.
One of the great moments from the Ram’s Head Live show occurred during Rhett’s solo performance of Come Around. I can’t imagine that an artist ever tires of hearing his lyrics from a (drunken) choir of adoring fans. Indeed, he seems pleased to hear the angelic (drunken) singalong at the end of this song.
During White Port, the spirit moved Ken to invite everyone to a local bar after the show. Fortunately for the Cat’s Eye Pub in Fell’s Point, it was a Monday night so it was not a mob of insanity that piled into the bar, but a great number of fans were happy to buy their favorite guitarist and bass player a beer and hang out for a while. So cool, right?!
Hours later, the band raced northeast on I-95 towards The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. In the Old97s.com forum, a fan from The Stone Pony show shares how his ten year old brother had the time of his life. Read matthewconte’s post, 4th below the setlist.
Following the Stone Pony, the Old 97’s rocked Brooklyn’s Bell House for two extraordinary nights. Blogger Carene Lydia Lopez paints a fun front-row visual of how they miraculously land on their feet despite their airborne stage antics.
I made it to the second show at The Bell House and can attest to the amazing energy of the room that night. In the midst of a blistering setlist, the Old 97’s gave a couple more fans a night to cherish. Front and center of the stage, George and Maria, regulars at shows in the Northeast, were happy to see their favorite band on George’s birthday. Rhett and Murry wished him a happy one before treating him (and the rest of us!) with W. TX Teardrops, If My Heart Was A Car, and Lashes, all in his honor. As if their talent wasn’t enough to keep fans captivated, they’re really a generous group of gentlemen who appreciate their fans.
Following the two night stand in Brooklyn, the band played two shows in Massachusetts. First, a show at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet, then at the Green River Festival in Greenfield.
The next stop on this tour was another two-night stand, this time at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Annielixir shares her thoughts about the shows in the fan forum. Apparently, the shows were filmed for a press kit for future European dates. Old 97’s fans abroad, get ready… After reading her review, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stop myself from doing the hand jive the next time I hear Bright Spark!
Rolling into Minnesota, the Old 97’s stopped by 89.3 The Current. This 20 minute interview and performance can be heard here.
Kansas City, MO and Norman, OK were the next cities that were graced with the presence of rock and roll greatness.
In the Oklahoma Gazette, Rhett talks about the heavy touring that the band has been doing and alludes to more to come… “We’ve already got a best-of and a live album. And the 20th anniversary will be March 2013, which is around the time the next studio album will come out. And then we’ll go on our 20th anniversary tour.” Can we just declare 9/7/13 a holiday? 97’s day on a Saturday in their 20th year as a band seems to be a good time for some sort of crazy wrecker event. (Just trying to plant seeds over here.)
The Old 97’s wrapped this rather epic run in their home state of Texas, at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Rhett performed the National Anthem, the Rangers beat the Blue Jays, and then the happy fans danced in celebration as the band took the stage for a post-game show. In an interview with Amanda Cobra of quickdfw.com, Rhett discusses potential walk-out songs for Rangers players, Texan musicians he admires, and he learns about a mashup called, “Rhett Midler.” Warning, once you see this, you cannot unsee this.
Cheers to Rhett, Murry, Ken, and Philip for another round of rock and roll excellence. Fans are loving the new album and the songs are sounding fantastic live. California awaits your return next month!