Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Live: Old 97s at South Street Seaport 7.4.10

It's been a long time since I've seen the Old 97s. It's a shame, as I've seen a ton of their shows and they have been known to be one of my favorite bands. Recent years have found the singer desperately trying to reconcile his solo aspirations against the fact that the band that made him what he is more popular. And just plain better, frankly. I'm not exactly sure what makes the Old 97s records so superior (and truth be told, I think it's been downhill for the last couple of records) but that is the truth, and they do have a host of great songs. They are also pretty damn good live (when both singers care) and when you take all the assholes out of the city and make the show for free, you can pretty much guarantee my presence. And so it was. To sweeten the pot, Eric was in attendance, and Steve and Annie were down from Albany, so things looked promising for a good time.

All in all, it was. The company was good, as was the beer. The whole show was sponsored by Texas On Tour. who brought a small village of Texas-ity to the proceedings with a bunch of stands and the music stage that hosted our heroes. A gent by the name of Ryan Harkrider opened the proceedings in a solo acoustic capacity that garnered little to no love from the Johnsons in our midst. Nothing really caught on for me, either, and I (like many others) failed to snap up one of his free cds, so I guess we'll have to call that a loss. The Old 97s were up in short order, knocking out an hour or so of tunes while we put a dent in the adult beverages. Musically, the cards fell where I suspected they would. The good songs were good and the older ones were somewhat less so. The crowd was pretty receptive for what it was, but either the snore factor of the last couple records or the holiday worked against them. I'd say there were probably 200 in attendance, all told. Works out fine for me, and I'm pretty sure no one was working against draw, so I'd say it was a win all around. Saw Alex (who I saw my first Old 97s show with a million years ago) for the first time in forever, as well as the lovely Juliet of the Unified Scene and was home in the A/C by 10:30, independent of the NYC populace at large. Good times. Thanks to Eric, Steven, Annie and Texas On Tour for an awesome free 4th.


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