Last Night: Old 97's at House of Blues
Oh, dutiful journalism, the places I will go in your name. Last night, one of those places just had to be House of Blues. It's always a pleasure to watch Old 97's and I would put up that good fight to keep my spirits high in what is arguably my least favorite venue in town. But enough with the pouting; and on with the show (both literal and metaphorical, of course).
Photos by Jay Lee
Earlier in the day I had learned that there was a campaign of misinformation indicating that the show would be kicked off by Nashville's Those Darlin's. This was sadly not the case. But who would it be? My best guess upon seeing the stage set-up for the first band was that it would be Oprah. I would not be getting a BRAND NEW CAR(!!!!!) tonight, no I would be adequately entertained by The O's.
The internet blackout didn't prevent me from finding out that these two very well practiced boys are from Dallas. If you weren't there, I'll offer some suggestions for you to listen to get the idea. Play one of each out of two different speakers at the same time: Neutral Milk Hotel & Dashboard Confessional, Gin Blossoms & Tom Petty, Son Volt & John (Cougar or no--ladies' choice) Mellencamp, Train & Black Keys and finally They Might Be Giants & Diamond Rio.
There was one guy, who we assumed was from Kentucky for some reason, playing guitar and a large antiquated kick drum. The other could have possibly been Chris Lilley (Summer Heights High, Angry Boys) in disguise as a quasi-indie-MOR-rocker and he played banjo and pedal steel. So here they have the "interesting instrumentation" but it didn't seem to be more than affectation. They could have capably performed these songs as a traditional rock band and be played during drive time or used to sell cell phones to people with "large circles." But you've gotta give white men in tucked in shirts something to talk about at the office tomorrow, I suppose. "Guess what? BANJO! Fucking choice."
Next up was a solo set by Old 97's front man, Rhett Miller. I'm not exactly sure this didn't happen at Cactus earlier in the evening. That would have made a lot more sense, but it makes me believe the conspiratorial theories about bands hating their fans and making them go to House of Blues and spend ungodly amounts of money at every turn with kickbacks from the venue for keeping them there longer to spend more. At least that's how my dog tells it.