Last Saturday, the Old 97’s wrapped up the current leg of their tour at Philly’s TLA, the best music venue in town (with the possible exception of Johnny Brenda’s).
They’ve been around since 1993, but I know and love them best for Wreck Your Life, Too Far to Care, Fight Songs, and Satellite Rides, a progression of records that gradually moves from alt-county to pop, mostly with very clever songwriting. Some of my best musical memories are Old 97’s shows from that era.
Because of those memories, I compulsively get tickets whenever the band comes through town, even though I don’t like much of their more recent work. It’s time to stop attending the shows and just be thankful for the fun we had back in the late 90s and early 00s.
While the prevalence of new music in the set was expected (it’s the reason they’re touring, after all), the set list had no momentum, and many of their older selections weren’t the best representation of the Old 97’s glory alt-country days. Busted Afternoon? Lonely Holiday?
They did, of course, do Barrier Reef, and they ended the evening with Time Bomb. I can think of few better ways to end a show, but it took a long time to get there.