Friday, July 17, 2009

Old 97s - Boulder Theater - 07/16/09

As anyone who has ever read this blog well knows, the Old 97s are probably my favorite band of all time, and probably have been since around the first time I saw them on Austin City Limits 11 or so years ago. Living in Fort Worth for 3 years, I had the opportunity to see the band a number of times at the beginning of this decade, but moving to Lubbock in 2003, and then Colorado in 2006 has made for far fewer opportunities to see them. So when I found out they were playing within walking distance of my house, it was almost too much to handle. And then when I found out that Murry and Rhett were opening the show with solo sets, I had to go see my doctor to see if I would be healthy enough to attend this show given the excitement it would cause.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived at the Boulder Theater was that the Old 97s crowd these days is really...old. I'm sure a substantial portion of them were the "Question" crowd, and were there because they heard the song at a Rockies game one time when someone got engaged on the Jumbotron. However, as the night wore on, the crowd began to fill in with the jaded looking 30-40 year olds that I was so accustomed to seeing at Old 97s shows in Dallas. Then of course there were a couple of token beat up cowboy hats that apparently some people still wear, and to round it out, of course, were a few people wearing the band's t-shirt to their show.

Murry Hammond opened up the show with a set of his solo material, which was pretty well a dream come true for me. The set was fairly eclectic, comprised mostly of acoustic gospel songs from his album I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way, but also including "I Will Never Marry" performed on the harmonium, and my personal highlight "Valentine." I guess the mellow set gave the audience a bit too much room to talk, so Murry sang the latter half of his set over a sizable background noise from the audience. However, he seemed unfazed by such, and for those listening, the music was well appreciated. In the men's room, I overheard someone say "it takes balls to be that guy," which pretty well sums up a guy who plays gospel music in front of an audience who came to see a loud and raucous rock band.

Songs I could identify from this set were:
What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
Between the Switches
Lost at Sea
I Will Never Marry
I Believe, I Believe
(Might have been one more song on here that I didn't recognize)

Rhett Miller followed with a short solo set. While I was well aware that Rhett is an amazing rhythm guitarist, this set really highlighted his ability to strum the guitar so fast that you can't see his right hand. I don't know all of his solo material quite as well, but I've increasingly become a fan of it, probably more so now that it's clear the Old 97s aren't likely to dissolve as a result of his solo career. That's kind of ridiculous I know, but you have to understand, things were a little tense for 97s fans around the time The Instigator came out.

Songs I could identify from this set were:
This Is What I Do
Singular Girl
(Sorry, probably missed 2-3 songs from this one)

The Old 97s set was great, as always, and the band sounded extremely tight. There aren't a lot of bands with this many albums that I would be able to identify every song in their set, but this show wasn't even really a challenge. Keeping with tradition, they played at least one song from every album. Maybe I overdid it, but my three twitter requests - "Hands Off," "House that Used to Be," and "Melt Show" - didn't make it into the show.

The set list was as follows:
Won't Be Home
The Other Shoe
Dance With Me
Lonely Holiday
W. TX Teardrops
The New Kid
No Baby I
Barrier Reef
Murder (or a Heart Attack)
If My Heart Was a Car
Color of a Lonely Heart
I Need to Know Where I Stand (new Rhett song)
Question (and a verse in French)
I Will Remain
Rollerskate Skinny
Big Brown Eyes
Easy Way

Rocks Off (Rolling Stones cover)
Bel Air
The Fool

With this concert done, now all I've got to do is try and figure out if I can make all 4 Colorado shows for the Avett Brothers.

1 comment:

Kristi Rae said...

I don't know if you live in Dallas/Ft Worth area anymore, but the Old 97's will be at Bass Hall tomorrow night with Telegraph Canyon.